The Pain in Spain: Recession Hits Hard

The economic downturn is exposing deeper structural problems that likely must be fixed before the country can get back on a growth track

Madrid's financial district has lost its shine. Near the iconic Puerta de Europa Towers in the northern part of the city, For Sale signs adorn newly completed office blocks while cranes sit motionless next to half-finished construction projects. In a local restaurant that tailors to the once-bustling lunch crowd, 31-year-old waiter Manuel Gutiérrez can't remember business ever being so slow: "No one expected the [economic] crisis to last this long," he says.

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