MADRID: Spain’s public debt has topped one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) for the first time, the central bank announced on Thursday, despite years of government-imposed austerity. The nation’s accumulated public debt mushroomed to 1.007 trillion euros at the end of June from 996 billion euros a month earlier, the Bank of Spain said in a report. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government has struggled to contain annual deficits by raising taxes, freezing public salaries and curbing spending on services such as education and healthcare despite angry street protests. Though the annual deficits are on the decline, they continue to push up the sovereign debt of the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. The public debt figure includes the cost of a 41-billion-euro banking rescue in 2012 financed by Spain’s eurozone partners. The trillion-euro public debt is equal to 98.5% of Spain’s 2013 gross domestic product.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2014.
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