Belfast Telegraph

Jobless figure in Spain now over 27%

Spain's unemployment rate shot up to a record 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013, official figures show.

The country's National Statistics Institute said that the number of people unemployed rose by 237,400 people in the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, taking the total to 6.2 million.

Spain is in recession again as it struggles to deal with the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008.

The conservative government has launched a series of financial and labour reforms and pursued a raft of spending cuts and tax increases that have managed to reduce a swollen deficit.

Even so, the country had the highest budget deficit among the 17 European Union countries that use the euro in 2012. On the upside, the country's so-called bad bank Bankia has managed to return to profit, according to results released yesterday.

It made £63m in the first three months of 2013, helped by a bailout from the European Union.

But despite its improved performance, Bankia has warned that Spain's economy is still in a troubled state.

Belfast Telegraph