Spain to sell assets to ease fears

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Spain's prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez at the parliament for a plenary session in Madrid (AP)

Spain is to sell a 30% stake in its national lottery and partially privatise airports in Madrid and Barcelona to ease market worries about public finances.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made the announcements in parliament on Wednesday after the country suffered at the hands of investors who fear it may need a bailout like those received by Greece and Ireland.

The government will also stop paying 420 euro (£351) per month in February to people whose unemployment benefits have expired.

Ministers said they hope the move will convince investors Spain is taking strong steps to stabilise the eurozone’s fourth largest economy so it will not need outside help.

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