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Spanish unemployment keeps rising


The number of unemployed keeps rising in Spain, official figures show, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on European leaders to quickly fulfil their promises to help the country and the 17-nation eurozone.

Recession-hit Spain's unemployment rate rose to 24.63 per cent in the second quarter, up 0.19 percentage points from the previous three months, the National Statistics Institute said on Friday. The rate is the highest in the eurozone.

The institute said 53,500 more people joined the ranks of the unemployed between April and June, making for a total of 5.69 million people out of work.

For those under 25 years of age, the unemployment rate climbed to 53 per cent, from 52 per cent in the previous quarter.

Spain is battling to avoid having to seek a full-blown financial bailout as it struggles to emerge from its second recession in three years and strives to convince investors it can manage its finances.

Spain has asked for as much as 100 billion ($A119 billion) in loans for its banks, which are laden with soured investments following a property sector collapse in 2008. A sovereign bailout for Spain, which has a 1-trillion-euro economy, would be far larger.

The IMF said European leaders needed to complete reforms and fix the flaws in the euro monetary union.

"The problems that Spain faces in the financial markets go beyond the country's borders, and speak to the design flaws in the eurozone," said James Daniel, IMF mission chief for Spain.

One of the measures European leaders promised - and would help Spain - is to create a European banking authority that could give rescue loans directly to banks. Under Spain's current deal, the government is ultimately liable for the banks' rescue loans.