Spain gripped by recession, a day after protests

Spain announced Thursday it has moved into a second year of a job-killing recession, a day after millions joined anti-austerity strikes and vast protests.

Spain’s gross domestic product shrank by 0.3 percent in the quarter, National Statistics Institute data showed, meaning the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy has been shrinking for 15 months.

Over the year, economic output slumped 1.6 percent, said the data, which confirmed earlier estimates of a persistent slump in Spain, crippled by a 2008 property market crash.

Spain’s UGT union seized on the news to batter the government’s budget-cutting policies, which sparked a general strike and vast protests in Spain as part of a Europe-wide day of action Wednesday.

"They show how the government’s policies are sinking us in an abyss of economic depression, massive unemployment and social inequality," said the UGT, which organised the strike along with the major CCOO union.

"Nothing is getting better, the situation is getting worse, and the government is showing a total inability to get us out of the crisis," it said in a statement.

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