Spain: debt level rises

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Spain: debt level rises

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New figures show an increase in Spain’s total debt which is adding pressure to the troubled economy.

Debt was 72.1 percent of GDP for the first quarter of 2012, up from 68.5 percent for the same period in 2011.

The government expects the rate to hit 80 percent by the end of the year.

As the country falls back into recession and struggles with 24 percent unemployment, the hastily-agreed 100 billion euro bailout for its banks is not a miracle cure.

Spain’s borrowing rate remains dangerously close to seven percent – a level deemed unsustainable in the long-run by analysts.

Meanwhile, protests continue by miners who are feeling the heat from the governments’ attempts to cut the budget deficit.

Around 8,000 of them are on strike in the northeastern province of Asturias, opposing a 63 percent cut in coal subsidies that will lead to thousands of job losses.

Organisers say they have been inspired by Spain’s Indignados protest movement.