Spain’s leader says struggles to continue
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.