Spain’s leader says strug­gles to con­tinue

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Com­piled from staff and wire re­ports.

MADRID — Spain faces an­other tough year as it grap­ples with re­ces­sion, a deep fi­nan­cial cri­sis and 25 per­cent un­em­ploy­ment, its prime min­is­ter said Fri­day.

In his end-of-year as­sess­ment, Mar­i­ano Ra­joy said the coun­try’s cri­sis had been worse than an­tic­i­pated. “Spain’s econ­omy will re­main in re­ces­sion for some time, but we ex­pect it will im­prove in the sec­ond half of 2013,” Ra­joy said.

Spain’s econ­omy has been hit hard by the col­lapse of the coun­try’s prop­erty mar­ket in 2008, which left or­di­nary Spa­niards and banks strug­gling un­der the weight of toxic loans and as­sets. The coun­try’s government rushed to prop up its fi­nan­cial sys­tem, send­ing its debt lev­els higher.

To get its deficit un­der con­trol, the government in­tro­duced a se­ries of harsh aus­ter­ity mea­sures, such as spend­ing cuts and tax in­creases.

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