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There is more bad news for the Spanish government, already reeling from stock market falls.

Latest figures show the economy contracted by 3.6 percent last year, the worst result in decades.

But in Washington yesterday the Spanish Prime Minister insisted his country was what he called financially “solid.”

His comments seem aimed at defusing investor fears about state debt in Spain, where the unemployment rate has hit 20 percent.

But Spain’s predicament cannot be compared to the other nations, according to financial analyst Rafael Pampillon.

Greece and Portugul, he says, have been in economic crisis for a long time, with debt levels much higher than Spain’s. “Their budget deficit is much higher and their balance of trade deficit is higher than that of Spain.”

Greece remains the key cause for concern, with strikes beginning over a new austerity plan.

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