Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), risked the wrath of protesters in Spain yesterday with his backing for the austerity programme which has plunged the nation into a double-dip recession.
Policymakers faced thousands of demonstrators in Barcelona during one of the ECB's twice-yearly away-days from its Frankfurt headquarters. The central bank, which expects a "gradual" recovery for the eurozone economy this year, held its main interest rate at a record low 1 per cent yesterday.
Spain is in its second recession in three years, although Mariano Rajoy's administration is pushing through €27bn (£22bn) in cuts this year to quell rising market panic.
Mr Draghi told a press conference: "The government of Spain has made a very significant effort in policy reform. It's a series of reforms that... have been taken in a very short time. I think we have to acknowledge this significant effort."