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More than 5 million people now unemployed in Spain

There is now an unemployment rate of 22.8 per cent in Spain, a country which already had Europe’s worst unemployment level.

Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy
Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy
Image: Michael Sohn/AP/Press Association Images

THERE ARE NOW more than 5 million people unemployed in Spain.

BBC News reports that new figures show 5.3 million people were out of work at the end of December 2011, increasing from 21.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year to 22.85 per cent.

This is the highest unemployment rate in the country in 15 years.

The Wall Street Journal reports that this is double the EU rate of employment, which was 10.3 per cent at last count.

Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said on Bloomberg TV that the situation was something the government hoped to fix.

He said: “I think that this is the main incentive that the government has to implement the reforms that the Spanish economy requires, and rapidly.”

He said the government has to take the rate very seriously and it is something it hopes to fix using a large agenda of reforms.

The country hopes to publish plans on the reform of the Spanish banking system in mid-February.

Spain’s Conservative government unveiled its austerity measures in December in an attempt to get a grip on its public finances.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who met with German chancellor Angela Merkel this week, was appointed in November.

He faced the task of bringing in deficit reduction measures during a time when the country’s economy was expected to sink back into recession.

Spain continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the EU.

Read: Spain raises nearly €5bn in successful short-term bond auction>

Read: Spain to announce austerity plans today>

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