The Spanish government will extend the monthly payments of 400 euros ($490) given to jobless workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

The supplementary aid was announced Tuesday by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in an appearance before the press following a meeting in Palma de Mallorca with King Juan Carlos.

Rajoy said that the Cabinet will approve the extension of this aid at its next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 24.

He also said that his administration will try to make the program more efficient and achieve the purpose for which it was created by getting the unemployed back to work.

Spain has been plunged in a deep economic crisis since 2007 whose chief effects have been a lack of economic growth and a decimation of jobs that has boosted the unemployment rate to a record 24.6 percent, while more than half of workers under 25 are out of work.

The previous Socialist government approved in February 2011 the payment of 400 euros ($490) a month to the unemployed who, having gone beyond the two-year limit of unemployment benefits, have no income at all, a measure that has been kept by the conservative Rajoy administration.

The program currently benefits around 200,000 people with incomes of less than 400 euros ($490) a month and who are ineligible for ordinary jobless benefits. EFE