The Bank of Spain said Tuesday that its economy shrank for the fifth straight quarter in the July-to-September period. The central bank said the country’s economic fortunes dropped four-tenths of a percent, matching the contraction in the second quarter.
Job losses have mounted in Spain, with more than a quarter of the work force unemployed. Analysts say the latest economic report could put new pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to seek an international bailout, joining Greece, Ireland and Portugal in seeking rescue packages from their European neighbors.
The European Central Bank says it is willing to buy unlimited amounts of bonds to assist the debt-ridden countries in the 17-nation euro currency bloc. But so far, Rajoy has resisted asking for outside help.
Meanwhile, in Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with his coalition allies in an attempt to reach an agreement on a new austerity plan demanded by the country’s international lenders before they will agree to release another segment of the country’s second bailout. Greece has been meeting with the lenders since July, but the talks have stalemated on the terms of the austerity.
Greece says it needs the new infusion of cash to avoid running out of money on November 16.