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Spain's record unemployment rate highlights plight of jobless generation

Spain's record unemployment rate highlights plight of jobless generation
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Spain’s new record level of unemployment – 27.2 percent – has put the focus on a generation growing accustomed to life without work.

Six million Spaniards are now jobless, more than the entire population of Denmark.

The rate is the highest since records began in the 1970s and puts Spain on a par with Greece.

Joaquin lost his job as a fishmonger in the Canary Islands five months ago. “You have no expectations, nothing, you just try to survive day by day,” he says.

In nearly two million Spanish homes every adult is jobless.

In Barcelona Rafael has been out of work for three years. His wife Nati recently lost her job too.

For now they have to get by on 420 euros a month in benefits for the couple and their young daughter.

“We were preparing all the papers needed but they say we won’t get any help at least until June or July,” says Nati.

“It’s not enough to live on, it’s impossible,” adds her husband.

The latest figures will refuel the debate over whether austerity policies should be ditched.

Last year the government imposed drastic spending cuts and tax rises to bring Spain’s huge deficit under control, but the belt-tightening has aggravated the economy’s problems.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is due to announce further spending cuts on Friday.

But thousands in Madrid have been making their feelings clear on Thursday evening with an anti-austerity rally outside parliament.