Spain

Spanish unemployment soars to over 17 per cent

Spanish unemployment soars to over 17 per centMadrid - Spain's unemployment rate soared to 17.36 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, up from 13.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said Friday.

Last year's fourth quarter figure was already the highest in the European Union.

The number of jobless broke through the level of 4 million - which the government had previously ruled out.

More than one million households have all their members out of work.

Villarreal win at last; Atletico thrashed in Santander

Villarreal win at last; Atletico thrashed in SantanderMadrid - Villarreal moved up to fifth in the Spanish Liga on Thursday with a 2-1 home win over lowly Recreativo Huelva.

Their first win in five games leaves the Yellow Submarine with 52 points from 32 games, three points behind fourth-place Valencia and two ahead of sixth-place Malaga.

Javier Camunas gave Huelva the lead after just two minutes, but Joseba Llorente made it 1-1 for Villarreal with a powerful drive four minutes before half-time.

The winning goal, in the 68th minute, was controversial, to say the least.

Spanish princess moves to US

Spanish princess moves to US Madrid - Spain's Princess Cristina, 43, the second of King Juan Carlos' three children, will move to Washington DC with her family, news reports said Thursday.

The princess' husband, former handball player Inaki Urdangarin, has accepted a job in the United States with the Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica, the royal palace said.

The couple, who have the titles of duke and duchess of Palma, have four children aged between 3 and 9 years. The family currently lives in Barcelona.

Valencia veteran Albelda out for three weeks after training injury

Valencia veteran Albelda out for three weeks after training injury Madrid - Valencia veteran midfielder David Albelda will be out of action for around three weeks due to injury, the Spanish football club said on Thursday.

Albelda, 31, twisted a ligaments in his left ankle in training on Thursday and had to be stretchered off.

He will miss upcoming matches of "Los Ches" against Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Valencia consolidated themselves in fourth place in La Liga on Wednesday with a 2-1 win away to Betis, with two goals from Euro 2008 top scorer David Villa.

Nalbandian wins into possible Barcelona test against Nadal

Nalbandian wins into possible Barcelona test against Nadal Barcelona - Seventh seed David Nalbandian completed a hat-trick of quarter-final placings at the Barcelona Open on Thursday as he beat Spain's Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4.

The Argentine also reached the last eight at the Real club in 2004 and in 2007 but stalled in the third round a year ago.

The former Wimbledon finalist is more than likely to line up against king of clay Rafael Nadal if the world number 1 came through as expected later on Thursday in his third-round match with Belgian Christophe Rochus.

Crisis hits Spanish tourism

Crisis hits Spanish tourism Madrid - Europe's economic crisis is hitting tourism in Spain, where overnight stays in hotels fell 16 per cent in the first quarter, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said Thursday.

In March, hotel stays declined by nearly 19 per cent from the corresponding period in 2008 to 15.6 million, the lowest in five years, despite hotel prices going down by 7 per cent.

The March results were, however, affected by the fact that Easter fell in March in 2008, increasing the number of tourists that year.

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