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Spanish Unemployment Tops 20%, Hurting Deficit Fight | Activist News

Spanish Unemployment Tops 20%, Hurting Deficit Fight

By Emma Ross-Thomas

April 30 (Bloomberg) — Spain’s unemployment rate rose above 20 percent for the first time in more than a decade, undermining Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s fight to cut the euro region’s third-largest budget deficit.
Spanish borrowing costs have surged in the past two weeks on concern the country will struggle to push the deficit below the EU limit of 3 percent of economic output. Standard & Poor’s cut Spain’s credit rating on April 28, saying the government was underestimating its fiscal problems and overestimating growth prospects. Adding to public spending, Zapatero has extended benefits for the long-term unemployed.

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