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Jobless rate in Spain rose to 20%, highest in Europe.

In this Feb. 5, 2010 file photo, Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pauses during a news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid. Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Wednesday April 28, 2010, has downgraded Spain

Spain’s unemployment rate rose above 20 percent for the first time in more than a decade, undermining Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s fight to cut the euro region’s third-largest budget deficit.

The jobless rate rose to 20.1 percent in the first quarter from 18.8 percent in the previous three months, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute said today. The rate is above a median forecast of 19.8 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of 10 economists. Spanish unemployment is the highest in the euro region and double the average rate in the European Union, according to separate data from the EU’s statistics office. READ MORE HERE