Spain approves new 5.0-billion-euro stimulus package
Spain's socialist government on Friday approved an additional EUR 5.0 billion (USD 7.5 billion) for public works programmes in a new bid to stimulate the recession-hit economy.Madrid - Spain's socialist government on Friday approved an additional EUR 5.0 billion (USD 7.5 billion) for public works programmes in a new bid to stimulate the recession-hit economy.
The fund would be in addition to EUR 8.0 billion (USD 12 billion) allocated in November 2008 for infrastructure projects and which led to the creation of 421,00 jobs since April but which is now winding down, the government said.
Work financed by the new fund would begin on 1 January , Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference following a cabinet meeting.
Spain entered recession in late 2008. Its economy, Europe's fifth biggest, has been hit particularly hard by the world economic crisis after a decade-long boom driven by the construction industry came to an end.
The stimulus package last year has not prevented a rise in the unemployment rate, which the National Statistic Institute said earlier Friday was 17.93 percent at the end of September.
The government has forecast that the rate will remain high, closing the year at 17.9 percent and rising to 18.9 percent in 2010.