Saturday, June 18, 2011

Spain public debt tops 13-year peak

Spanish protesters gather at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, during a protest last month against Spain's economic crisis and its sky-high jobless rate

Source: Press TV

Spain's public debt in the first three months of 2011 has risen to 970 billion dollars, the highest level in 13 years, Bank of Spain figures show.

Spain's accumulated public debt amounted to 679.78 billion euros ($970 billion) or 63.6 percent of annual gross domestic product, at the end of March, the central bank data released on Friday showed.

Spanish savings banks' public offerings must go ahead as planned for the financial sector and the country as a whole to recover markets' confidence, Reuters reported the Bank of Spain's deputy governor as saying.

Bank of Spain said on Friday that the banking sector's bad loan rate rose in April to 6.36 percent, the highest since June 1995. The rate had fallen in March for the first time in five months.

According to Bank of Spain, the rate among loans made to real estate promoters stood at a record 15.24 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment has gone up over 21 percent in the first quarter, the highest rate of joblessness in the industrialized world.

Spain is struggling to recover from nearly two years of recession triggered in large part by the collapse of an overheated real estate sector.

The latest figures come against the backdrop of recent protests against the Spanish political establishment. The protesters recently held days of rallies against their country's political system, calling for fundamental political and economic reforms.

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