Crown Prince Felipe told businessmen and representatives of the Spanish government on Wednesday that fostering the creation of jobs is "urgent and vital" in Spain, where the unemployment level is "unacceptable."

The prince, accompanied by his wife Letizia, spoke at the third edition of the awards ceremony for the Fundacion SERES prizes to acknowledge and reward companies' innovation and social commitment.

During the ceremony, the prince said that Spaniards should aspire to transform their country into "a reference point for social action throughout the world," something that he said "is also a magnificent way to (promote) Brand Spain."

"I think we can do it; and achieving it would fill us with pride and self-esteem. It would give us an important added prestige and, as a consequence, would empower our possibilities for advancement and success in many economic and social spheres," the heir to the Spanish crown said.

After insisting that social commitment must be incorporated into the strategies of Spanish firms, the prince said that "one of those positive basic impacts is the creation of jobs, a necessity that, in the current crisis, is especially urgent and vital for a society like ours."

Spanish society, he said, is one that is "registering unacceptable levels of ... unemployment, particularly among the youngest, who often are seeing their hopes for the future frustrated."

Unemployment in Spain, according to the latest figures published this week by the National Statistics Institute, set a new record by edging over 25 percent of the labor force, which translates into more than 5.7 million people out of work. EFE