Hot on the heels of Britain's slide back into recession, now Spain is officially in its second recession in three years, reports the BBC. Spain's National Statistical Institute said the economy shrank 0.3% last quarter, following a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011. As bad as that contraction is, it's actually less than the government forecast of 0.4%, reports Bloomberg. But that's little consolation to Spain's jobless, as unemployment rose yet again, now reaching 24.4%, the highest since 1996. Unemployment for people under 25 years old is a brutal 52%.
"The figures are terrible for everyone, and terrible for the government. Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. Despite the economic news, Spain's newly elected government says it remains committed to making deep cuts to lower the country's deficit to 5.3% of the GDP from 8.5% last year. "We are implementing a series of reforms that are more positive, necessary, and required than ever," said Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. "Spain needs deep structural change, not makeup."