Basque Country Boosts Fragile Spanish Economy

Basque Country boosts fragile Spanish economy

Elgibar, Spain, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2019 ) :At his factory in Elgoibar in Spain's northern Basque Country, Pello Rodriguez stops before an imposing machine tool that is used to shape metal for products such as engines and fridges.

Machine tooling is speciality of this mountainous and thickly forested industrialised region, prospering even as economic growth in Spain, which will hold early elections on April 28, has begun to slow.

At Rodriguez's feet there are several boxes marked with Chinese characters with train wheel-axles. A client has sent them to test a machine that will be used to adjust with precision these heavy pieces of metal once it is installed at a factory in China. The machine will cost more than one million Euros ($1.1 million).

He is the managing director of Danobat, Spain's leading machine tool firm.

With roughly 1,300 employees and yearly revenues of 261 million euros, this subsidiary of the Mondragon group, one of the world's largest cooperatives, is a flagship of industry in this damp corner of Spain bordering France.

Unemployment is Spaniards' top concern. But the Basque Country, which is also home to top auto parts makers and renewable energy firms, has the lowest unemployment rate in Spain at 9.58 percent, compared with 14.45 percent nationally.

Its industrial base accounts for roughly a quarter of the region's economic output, compared with 14 percent for Spain.

Like Germany, Europe's largest economy, the Basque Country is home to highly specialised firms that are geared to exporting, helping to make it one of Spain's wealthiest regions.

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