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Jobs and strikes hit Spain's recovery

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - 02:06

Nov 5 - Unemployment in Spain is on the up again as seasonal summer jobs end. Reuters talks to the country's Industry Minister about the sustainability of the country's fragile recovery. Sonia Legg reports

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Summer's over in Spain and it's not just the weather that's cooling down - the jobs market is too. The number of registered unemployed rose in October to 4.8 million as the effect of the tourist season started to wear off. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FERNANDO GONZALO,33, JOBLESS FORMER SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, SAYING : "In the summer I sometimes work as a lifeguard, I plug holes and as I don't have a mortgage or any responsibilities that works for me. But it's not what I would like." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIA ISABEL FABIAN PINEDA, 52, FORMER RESTAURANT WORKER JOBLESS SINCE APRIL, SAYING: "My situation is critical, I am on the dole, my husband has no benefits and all I get is around 300 euros. And I have a family." Last week the government announced the end of a two year recession. It had hoped tentative signs of recovery would keep the job numbers up. Spain's Industry MInister told Reuters the figures were disappointing. But Jose Manuel Soria said he was confident Spain was introducing the necessary reforms. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JOSE MANUEL SORIA, SPANISH INDUSTRY MINISTER, SAYING: "Some things in the past were not made in the right ways so we are having now a new economic policy which is based, basically, in a very strong fiscal consolidation process and at the same time in a very deep structural reforming process." Many Spaniards aren't convinced a meaningful recovery is underway. Street cleaners and gardeners in Madrid were the latest workers to strike over job cuts. Spanish bond yields also bounced off six-month lows as investors shuffled portfolios. Uncertainly over whether the ECB will flag monetary easing was largely the cause. But ETX's Joe Rundle says some investors share similar views to the strikers. SOUNDBITE (English), Joe Rundle, Head of Trading, ETX Capital, saying: "There's still deep austerity measures and long way out before you get sustainable growth. Probably they really need inflation rather than growth to pay down their debts or some form of restructuring but under the current austerity programmes it's going to be a long way with very slow growth for the foreseeable future." Spain's woes weren't helped by the latest forecast from the European Commission. It says the euro zone economy will expand slightly more slowly than expected next year. That'll no doubt add to arguments for an ECB interest rate cut.

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Jobs and strikes hit Spain's recovery

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 - 02:06