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  • Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy.

    Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy. | Photo: AFP

Published 31 March 2016

Meanwhile, suicide became the leading cause of unnatural death – twice more than road traffic accidents.

Spain missed its public deficit target for 2015 by far more than the European Commission and many analysts had expected, reported Reuters Thursday, while the country's suicide rate has soared by 20 percent since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008.

The overall deficit stood at 56.6 billion euros last year, or at 5.24 percent of the economic output, according to Reuters calculations from data released by the National Statistics Institute.

Minus financial aid paid to state-rescued banks, the 2015 deficit came in at 5.18 percent, far in excess of the target of 4.2 percent agreed with the European Commission, which has been warning for several months now that Spain was likely to miss its goals for 2015 and 2016.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, of the center-right People’s Party, had said in February that it would come in at 4.5 percent, lower than the latest Commission forecast of 4.8 percent.

The overshoot raises the pressure on Spain’s acting government to persuade Brussels it can keep spending in check at a time of political uncertainty. Parties on the right and left have been unable to form a coalition to govern since an inconclusive election on Dec. 20.

The PP followed a systematic policy of deep spending cuts in public services, which has failed to meet the deficit target and has severely affected the quality of life of Spanish people.

According to the country's National Statistics Agency, the suicide rate has risen by 20 percent since the subprime crisis, with almost 4,000 suicides in 2014, making suicide the leading cause of unnatural death – twice more tham road traffic accidents.

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