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Spain cuts state help for long-term jobless

12-02-2010 08:42 BJT

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The Spanish government, has announced it will end special payments, to the long-term unemployed, in February,only ONE year after the scheme was introduced. The "jobless welfare payment" was taken up by about 70,000 people. The move comes, as the country, struggles to pull itself, out of nearly TWO years of recession.

The monthly 420 Euro payment to people whose unemployment benefits have expired, will be abolished from February 2011. It demonstrates the Spanish government's continued anxiety over its economy.

Unemployment in Spain, is the highest in the eurozone. But the figures fell for the first time in over 3 years in the third quarter, to 19.8 percent.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister, said, "We will increase the numbers of public services staff to help jobseekers, to generate activity, and facilitate the creation of new jobs. The program of special jobless payments for the long-term unemployed will cease in February."

The government also plans to introduce new tax measures for small and medium companies, and allow private investment into the state-owned lottery, and airport management businesses.

Spain had one of the highest public deficits in the euro zone in 2009, at about 11 percent.

It has since introduced austerity measures, trying to bring the public deficits to within the EU limit of 3 percent by 2013.

Spain's financial markets have taken a hammering in recent weeks, as investors acted on fears the country would require a bailout, similar to Greece and Ireland.

But the government insists it does not need help. Its latest measures appear designed to convince investors that Spain has the situation well under control.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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