Spain can look forward to a new round of spending cuts and tax hikes after the government unveiled its 2013 budget.
Public sector pay is to be frozen for a third year running while lottery wins over 2,500 euros are to be taxed.
The Treasury Minister also warned there was no sign of the 25% unemployment rate coming down. On the contrary, Cristóbal Montoro said the government was anticipating more job losses in the coming year, albeit it at a slower rate.
Government department budgets are to be cut but Montoro made clear what he felt was the biggest drain on the country’s finances.
“What is growing is the interest on public debt,” he said. “It’s practically 10 billion euros – and what couldn’t we do if we could save that money. That is why it is so important to halt the increase in our public debt.”
Brussels has already praised what it calls Madrid’s “ambitious” reforms. But there are few measures likely to go down well with the public and more civil unrest seems almost inevitable.