• Aug. 23, 2017, 11:45 pm

Spain seeks closer economic integration in EU, expanded ECB mandate: El Pais

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain has written to European institutions asking for an overhaul of the region’s common economic policy to better integrate member states, El Pais wrote on Wednesday, quoting an eight-page document written by the Prime Minister’s office.

Madrid has asked for greater mobility of labor between countries, increased fiscal union with a common budget and the issuance of common debt in the form of eurobonds. A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s office was not immediately able to comment or confirm the document.

In the document, Spain criticizes the role of the European Central Bank (ECB), asking for it to adopt a U.S. Federal Reserve-style mix of policy targets linked to growth and inflation to prevent divergences between member states in indicators such as the unemployment rate, the Spanish daily newspaper said.

The ECB declined to comment on Wednesday.

“The direction of the single currency policy has been inadequate for certain partners in recent years,” El Pais reported the document as saying, adding it promoted excessive debt in some countries.

The document calls for a reintroduction of convergence criteria between member states centered on inflation, the trade balance and labor costs, El Pais said.

(Reporting By Sonya Dowsett; editing by John Stonestreet)

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