Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has warned that his country will face further dire economic circumstances this year, despite requesting EU bailout aid.
Rajoy, who met the king earlier on Monday, said Spain’s already-record unemployment would rise further in 2012.
Rajoy has been heavily criticised in the press. Only two weeks ago he denied the country needed help.
Analysts are far from optimistic that the premier’s austerity plans will satisfy investors.
Spain’s debt pile stands at 78 percent of economic output.
Billions have been spent to prop up ailing lenders hit by the collapse of the country’s real estate sector.
One protester in Madrid attacked Rajoy’s government for rescuing the banks with enormous amounts of money, whilst slashing spending on ordinary people.
“It is destroying the lives of the citizens, cutting down the salaries, the social subsidies, and finally the basic rights.”
The European Commission says Spain’s bailout will be supervised by the so-called troika: the IMF, the European Central Bank and eurozone finance ministers.