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Jobless Spanish man dies in hospital after self-immolation

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Spaniards protest against austerity measures in the capital Madrid, December 17, 2012.

A jobless Spanish man has died at a hospital after setting himself on fire, only two days after another Spaniard self-immolated on social and economic grounds.

The 63-year-old man, who suffered from financial problems, died in the Carlos Haya hospital in the southern city of Malaga on Friday.

Police officials issued a statement on Thursday, saying that the man had suffered fatal burns when he self-immolated in a car under a highway. Police did not reveal the identity of the man.

On Wednesday, another Spaniard, a 57-year old man, set himself on fire in protest against social injustice and the high cost of living in the debt-ridden country.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, taking with it millions of jobs. Unemployment currently stands at about 25 percent.

On December 20, the lawmakers voted for further cuts in the 2013 budget, which, among other tough measures, slashes spending for health care and education and reduces pensions.

The Spanish government has been sharply criticized over its austerity policies that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

The eurozone’s fourth-largest economy must lower its deficit to 4.5 percent in 2013 and 2.8 percent in 2014. Economists, however, say those targets will be difficult to meet amid poor prospects for the country’s economic recovery.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.


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