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Higher debt and jobless as Spain unveils new budget

Higher debt and jobless as Spain unveils new budget
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Spain’s new budget has revealed the country’s debt-GDP ratio and unemployment rate will rise this year, causing the highest debt level since 1990. The country’s debt-GDP ratio will be 79.8 percent in 2012, up from 68.5 percent in 2011.

As the Treasury Minister unveiled the new high-tech way of accessing budget details using a barcode and mobile phone, many are bracing themselves for cuts meant to save a further 27 billion euros.

This is on top of austerity measures already introduced by the centre-right government in an effort to reduce Spain’s deficit to 5.3 percent of GDP this year.

Spanish Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro
hailed the budget: “It’s an extraordinary budget in terms of the measures it contains, in terms of reduction of public spending and trying to increase the state’s earnings. Therefore it is commensurate with the situation Spain is experiencing,” Montoro said.

April sees the eighth month in a row where the number of unemployed people has increased. The total hit 23.6 percent in February – the highest of all 17 EU member countries.

One woman called Natalia said she was resigned to the deficit and jobless figures, but fed up with the government: “The numbers are what they are, and, of course, things aren’t being done properly, because money is being used for things that are unnecessary, and where money is needed there’s no investment.”

Unemployment continues to hit those aged under 25 particularly hard. Data from EU statistics body Eurostat reveals that half the population in this age group cannot find work.

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