By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
A record 80'000 people face the threat of being unemployed this Christmas in the Balearics and yesterday the regional government announced a 16 million euro aid package to try to hold up the employment market and cover the needs of the thousands out of work who are not entitled to state benefits.

For once, the Balearic government and local union bosses agreed yesterday that 80'000 people are going to be out of work come the end of the year - 60 percent more than at the end of last year- although the UGT General Workers' Union fears that the figure could reach even higher.

Balearic President Francesc Antich unveiled the aid package yesterday which includes a series of measures such as 350 euros per month for three months for those not eligible to benefit but actively seeking work.

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