MADRID, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Friday after a cabinet meeting that the Spanish government will extend financial aid for long-term unemployed Spaniards.
The financial aid will keep paying 450 euros (about 650 U.S. dollars) monthly for long-term unemployed people with families whose jobless benefits have run out, while other unemployed people will receive 400 euros.
Minister of Employment Fatima Banez said at the press conference following the cabinet meeting that the policy aims to continue provide support to the most vulnerable people during the crisis.
Banez said the policy will not change until the unemployment rate falls below 20 percent from the current level of 26.2 percent.
"The situation of Spain's labor market in 2012 was the second worst within the last five years of recession," said Banez.
The Inquest into the Active Population, published on Thursday in Spain, showed unemployment had increased by up to 700,000 people. It had showed the government's labor reform since last February had been effective, Baena said.
This is the fourth time the government has extended the relief measure -- "Plan Prepara."
Spanish unions, the Workers Commissions (CCOO) and the General Workers Union (UGT), welcome the policy while claiming it is not enough to solve the high unemployment problem. CCOO and UGT argued that the labor reform was a key factor in destroying employment.
The "Plan Prepara" extension came just one day after the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported there were almost 6 million people unemployed in the country.