Political uncertainty in Spain, along with further grim unemployment numbers, pushed up the cost of borrowing by the Madrid government on Monday and pulled down the value of the euro against other currencies.
The latest jobs figures show almost five million Spaniards registered with job centres, and the national statistics office says there are one million more without work.
Over half of those who are under 24 years of age do not have a job. Outside a Madrid job centre Noemi Sanz, who is 23, said: “In other countries youth unemployment is really low, and it’s the over-30s with higher unemployment. Not the young people, because they’re the ones that have to move the country forward, in the future.”
In Spain they are known as ni-nis – neither in work, nor full time education – though many are studying foreign languages, preparing to flee Spain in search of work, with Germany the most popular jobseeker destination.
German language student Eva Sanchez, who is an engineer, spoke of her despair at not being able to find work since leaving university: “If there is nothing here, it makes no sense to stay, after studying for five years of my life and my parents having spent money investing in my education, it’s all for nothing.” She is preparing to leave Spain in the summer.
Barcelona’s Goethe Institute, where she studied German, offers more than 170 courses in the language every year.
In the last two years the number of students on those courses has grow by 75 percent, most of them under 25-year-olds hoping to say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Spain, for a better future in Germany.