MADRID: Spain's budget deficit widened to its highest level in 11 years in 2020 as the pandemic battered its economy, the government said Monday. Spain is one of the worst-hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus crisis, which has left 75,000 people dead in the country and caused the economy to sink by 11 percent last year. The country's public deficit soared to 10.1 percent of output last year, compared to 2.9 percent in 2019.
"The increase in public spending to fight the pandemic, combined with social measures to help families, workers and businesses are the main reasons for this increase," the budget ministry said in a statement. The ministry said 85 percent of the increase in public spending in 2020 was due to "measures adopted expressly to mitigate the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic".