No, Austerity in Europe Has Not Restored Prosperity to Spain, and the Confidence Fairy Has Left the Building. Why Do You Ask?
BBC News - Spain's jobless level hits record 4.75 million: The number of Spanish jobseekers rose for the eighth month in a row in March to hit a record 4.75 million. The Labour Ministry said the number of people filing for unemployment benefits rose by 38,769 with the services sector seeing the most jobs lost. The jobless rate in Spain stood at 23.6% in February, according to EU figures released on Monday. Meanwhile, Spain has said its public debt will leap more than 10 percentage points this year to 79.8% of GDP.
The Finance Ministry said: "Public debt will rise from 68.5% of GDP at the end of 2011 to 79.8%, a level which is still below the eurozone average of 90.4%." It comes as Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro presented his government's 2012 budget to parliament. The package, which was approved by the cabinet on Friday, includes 27bn euros' ($36bn; £22.5bn) worth of spending cuts and tax increases. "We are convinced that this budget will meet the challenge of recovering the confidence of our European partners," Mr Montoro told a news conference held in parliament. The European Union has set a ceiling for public debt of 60% of gross domestic product…