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Spain unemployment hits record high

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 01:36

Spain's jobless rate reached a new record high of 25 percent in the third quarter, with the prospect of further rises as government austerity measures kick in. Ciara Sutton reports.

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With one in four now out of work, more queus like this can be expected outside Spanish unemployment centres. The jobless rate has reached record levels and is predicted to rise in 2013, as the next phase of government cutbacks kicks in. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNEMPLOYED MAN, ITALO HERAN, SAYING: "So many cuts, people are suffering so much, they are even having heart attacks because they don't have anything. Suddenly they don't have a way to survive. So we need another policy that helps people, but every day they strangle us more." At exactly 25 percent, it's the highest level since the 1970s, and unions are calling for strikes next month. The new data puts further pressure on the government as it debates whether to seek international aid while battling to bring down the public deficit. But Spain's borrowing costs have eased significantly since the ECB's promise to buy the country's bonds should it call for financial help. IG Markets trader Will Hedden. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG INDEX TRADER, WILL HEDDEN, SAYING: "There's definitely been an appetite for investing in some of the peripheral euro zone equities. Certainly if you'd started investing early on in the summer in Spain and Greece, the returns you'd have had up until now would have been pretty decent." But austerity measures are likely to crimp Spanish growth further, and cast more out of work. Protests have mounted over the past weeks against the new program which will see a freeze in public sector pay for the third consecutive year.

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Spain unemployment hits record high

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 01:36