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Spain To Offer Residency To Foreign House Buyers

"I'm convinced that the worst is over," Rajoy told reporters after meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The stricken state of the country's real estate market was highlighted Monday by figures from the Bank of Spain which showed that the level of bad debt in the country's banks had risen to a record 10.7 percent of their loan total in September.

The bank said the amount totaled ⿬182 billion, up from ⿬179 billion in August ⿿ the 15th monthly increase in a row.

The 16 other countries that use the euro have agreed to lend Spain up to ⿬100 billion to help support the country's banks weighed down by these bad loans and investments. On top of the bank loan, Spain has been under pressure to apply for more outside financial aid to help it manage its debt and deficit. The European Central Bank has insisted on the move before it will make good on its pledge to buy the bonds of certain troubled countries to help lower their borrowing costs.

Spain says it is waiting to know all the conditions that might come attached to the rescue package before making a decision.

______

Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin, Barry Hatton in Lisbon and Gary Peach in Riga contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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