03/07/12 17:51 CET
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There was some good news on jobs for Spain but more austerity is coming.
The total number of people out of work there fell by nearly 100,000 in June.
That is traditionally a good month for employment as the tourism season begins but this was the best June on record. It was also the third month in a row the jobless rate has fallen.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos was cautious and warned it was too early to tell if this was a trend.
“The last thing I will do as economy minister is create false expectations. I know we are in a complicated situation and, regarding the figures, let’s hope they’re consolidated. What we have to do is keep working so this month’s figure becomes consolidated,” he said.
The number of people registered as jobless fell across all of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, with the country’s dominant service sector taking on the bulk of new workers.
The jobless rate among under 25-year-olds, the worst affected by the crisis, fell by close to eight percent.
As the total number of jobseekers fell to just over 4.6 million, de Guindos also said the government is considering raising consumer, energy and property taxes to meet its deficit reduction target.
He told a business conference in Madrid: “We will make additional efforts so that we can guarantee fulfilling the deficit reduction objectives and we will have to look at which parts of the different areas of the administration need to make an additional effort.”
The economy minister also told reporters that Spain’s struggling banks could get their rescue money within weeks.
He revealed that talks over the terms of their bailout from a European fund are moving swiftly.
He said so-called ‘bad banks’, where toxic real estate assets are parked to be sold off later, would form part of the memorandum of understanding for European financial assistance due to be signed by 9 July.
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