Long and quiet queues of determined job hunters about employment offices like these in Madrid are a common site. Spain's has just revealed that unemployment has now topped 26%. To be exact some 6 million people are out of work, meaning Spain ended 2012 with the biggest jobless rate in the country's history.

These are desperate people looking for work at a time when the country is enduring the second recession in over just three years.

Last year around 692,000 lost their jobs, leaving 1.8million households where no-one has a job. Spain's economic growth figures are due out next week with many hoping for a tidbit of good news.