After adopting the euro, the Spanish economy initially benefited from sharply lower interest rates, spurring a property bubble. However, with the onset of the global financial crisis, property prices collapsed, causing widespread layoffs, and pushing unemployment to more than 26 per cent by the end of 2012. Spain received a bank bailout from the European Central Bank in 2012. 

Valencia CF striker Roberto Soldado. Photo: EPA

Spain opens World Cup qualifying with late win

Spain opened the defence of its World Cup title with a 1-0 win at Georgia on Roberto Soldado’s 86th-minute goal on Tuesday night, while England stumbled to a 1-1 tie at home against Ukraine.