Spain\'s Secretary of State for Budgets Marta Fernandez Curras welcomed the reduction in deficit of Spain\'s 17 autonomous communities on Thursday. New data shows the deficit of Spain\'s regions reached 1.2 billion euros (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2013, equivalent to 0.12 percent of the country\'s GDP. Fernandez Curras described the result as \"really satisfying,\" despite the fact that the government was recently forced to raise its regional deficit forecasts to 1.2 percent from 0.7 percent for 2013. She highlighted efforts the regions had made in cutting costs, which she said was positive in the face of the decision to be taken by the European Union on whether or not to allow Spain some breathing space in the reduction of the public deficit. The EU is expected to allow Spain until the end of 2013 to reduce its deficit to 6.3 percent, which had originally been the target for 2012. \"The European Union knows it cannot ask much more from Spain,\" Fernandez Curras said. She conceded, however, that the country still possessed \"imbalances that were produced years ago,\" Curras said. \"We are turning the situation around,\" she added.