Spain's Debt Costs Eat Up Austerity

Spain has pushed through €40bn of fresh austerity measures in the teeth of recession, despite violent protests across the country and separatist crises in Catalonia and the Basque region that threaten to break the country apart.

Premier Mariano Rajoy has frozen public pay in 2013 for the third year in a row. The agriculture ministry and culture expenses will be cut by 30pc and the defence bureacracy by 15pc. It comes on top of a €62bn squeeze already in the pipeline.

He brushed aside warnings that fiscal overkill – at a time when unemployment is already 25pc – could push the country into turmoil, saying he would listen only to the “silent majority” of responsible citizens.

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