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Spain's public debt hits record high

Justice officials protest against austerity measures in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Spain has been in recession for most of the past four years and has a record 27.2 percent unemployment rate. The percentage is twice that high for Spaniards under 25 years old. The banner reads in Spanish: "The public is for all. No cuts and privatization. Without justice there is not democracy". (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's central bank says the country's public debt burden rose to a record 88.2 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the first quarter.

The bank said Friday that Spain's debt was 922.82 billion euros ($1.23 trillion) at the end of March, up 19.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The government has said it expects its debt burden to rise to 90.5 percent of GDP at the end of 2013 but it may have to revise the forecast.

Spain, with 27.2 percent unemployment, has been in recession for most of the past four years as the economy struggles to emerge from the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector in 2008. In that year, public debt represented 39.5 percent of GDP.