Unemployment in Spain has hit an 18-year high at 24.4 percent as the country experiences its second recession in three years.
There are now more than 5.6 million people without a job, and 1.7 million households where no one is working.
These figures coincide with Spain’s credit rating being downgraded from A to BBB+ by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s, who have also given the country a negative outlook, meaning more downgrades are likely.
The government has been implementing tough austerity measures as it tries to cut its budget deficit and reduce debt, but some are critical because Spain’s economic situation is worsening.
Pointing out the euro zone is experiencing a crisis and the cutbacks should not be blamed on Germany, Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy said: “The austerity policy is not the Angela Merkel policy. It’s the policy of a project which we’re all in voluntarily.”
With less than six months in office, Rajoy may have to reconsider austerity as economic growth plummets.
S&P have revised figures for growth for 2012, from gaining 0.3 percent to contracting by 1.5 percent.