Picture shows the Machine Tool Museum at the IMH Machine Tool Institute in the Spanish Basque city of Elgoibar, on April 3, 2019. AFP / ANDER GILLENEA
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Basque Country boosting Spain's fragile economyAt his factory in Elgoibar in Spain's northern Basque Country, Pello Rodriguez stops before an imposing machine tool that is used to shape metal for products such as engines and fridges. The Basque Country, which is also home to top auto parts-makers and renewable energy firms, has the lowest unemployment rate in Spain at 9.58 percent, compared with 14.45 percent nationally.Spain's outgoing Socialist government predicts the economy will expand 2.2 percent this year, down from 2.6 percent in 2018 and 3.0 percent in 2017 .Spain's machine tool and advanced manufacturing technologies sector, which is almost entirely based in the Basque Country, had a turnover of 1.73 billion euros last year, nearly three-quarters of it destined for export, the sector's cluster AFM figures show.
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