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No decision taken on sovereign bailout: Spanish PM


10:24, August 15, 2012

MADRID, Aug.14 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday said no decision regarding a sovereign bailout had been taken.

Rajoy and the King of Spain Juan Carlos de Borbon met on Tuesday in the Balearic Island of Palma de Mallorca to discuss the political and economic situation in Spain.

In a press conference following the meeting, Rajoy said that the Spanish government would await details about forthcoming measures by the European Central Bank (ECB) before taking any decision.

"Until we know the ECB's decision on this issue, we are not going to take any decision either," Rajoy said.

ECB President Mario Draghi in early August said his institution would take "unconventional measures" to alleviate market pressure on countries such as Spain and Italy.

During the unscheduled press conference, Rajoy also announced monthly payments of 400 euros (493 U.S. dollars) for the long-term unemployed -- due to expire on Wednesday -- would be extended.

The so-called Plan Prepara provides handouts to those who no longer qualify for other unemployment benefits. The extension of the aid will be passed on August 24 by the Spanish cabinet. The plan has been extended two times since its introduction in 2011.

Spain has the highest unemployment rate in Europe with a total of 704,900 people losing their jobs three years ago or more.

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