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Spanish unoptimistic on falling unemployment rate

06-05-2012 10:51 BJT

Spain's Labor Ministry says the number of people filing for unemployment benefits fell six-tenths of a percent in May. But the country's unemployment rate remains the highest in Europe. And as the banking crisis continues to be unresolved, many find little reason to be optimistic.

The news of a drop in Spain's jobless levels didn't cheer many hearts here, outside a public employment office in Madrid. The number of people looking for work fell by just 30 thousand.  And some believe - the good news is only temporary.

File photo shows unemployed workers outside a government job centre in Madrid. The
number of jobseekers in Spain fell by a slight 0.63 percent to 4.71 million people,
the second consecutive monthly drop after hitting a record high in March, the
Labour Ministry said Monday.

Gabriela, job seeker, said, "The summer arrives and there are more jobs at restaurants and that kind of services. The bad think is that in September everything will fall down again and the jobless rate will increase again".

4.7 million people are still looking for work - and the unemployment rate is the highest in the Eurozone: 24.3 percent.

Victoria Garcia, job seeker, said, "It is very difficult, I have three children and I have been making sacrifices for too long here. I have to leave my children alone."

File photo shows unemployed workers outside a government job centre in Madrid.
The number of jobseekers in Spain fell by a slight 0.63 percent to 4.71 million
people, the second consecutive monthly drop after hitting a record high in March,
the Labour Ministry said Monday.

Besides unemployment, Spain also has got a banking crisis on its hands. This was a protest on Saturday outside the headquarters of Bankia - a private bank asking for another 23 billion dollars in rescue funds from the government.

Albertor Hidalgo, protester, said, "We are protesting against this brutal fraud that they have done to the people by giving billions of euros to a bank, while cutting basic services such as health and education."

All this as speculation grows on weather Spain will need a bailout.  Media reports say Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, is pressing European leaders for a direct rescue of Spanish banks - without the harsh austerity measures that would come with a formal bailout. But Germany continues to oppose direct aid to banks and experts warn - time is running out.

Robert Halver, trader with Baader Bank, said, "Banks need a large amount of state money. But Spain doesn't have this money because the estate too is short of money. That's where the ECB has to come in. If we don't get the problem under control, one thing is clear: Spain is Greece times ten."

Spain is already in its second recession in three years. And as uncertainty hangs over the banking sector, many Spaniards may find few reasons for optimism even, with the slight drop in unemployment.

People wait in line at a government employment office in
the center of Madrid in April 2010.

 

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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