The latest grim Spanish jobs numbers put further pressure on the government to seek international aid.
A majority of economists say the official forecasts for growth are way too optimistic and as Madrid battles to bring down its public deficit in line with European Union demands the recession will worsen putting even more people out of work.
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáez de Santamaría tried to sound upbeat saying: “Every newly released set of unemployment figures reinforces the need for us to keep working, and to be aware we cannot slow down the pace of reforms. We have to work as fast and as hard as possible to get back to growth and creating jobs in this country.”
As the unemployment figures were released, there was muted praise for Madrid from the European Central Bank and the European Commission.
They said Spain is on track to correct the problems in its financial sector, but needs more decisive action to deal with challenges facing some banks.
It is still not clear when those banks will get the EU bailout money needed to rebuild their capital reserves.