Spain's Public Works Minister and Government Spokesperson Jose Blanco confirmed that the Spanish Congress would meet next week to pass a series of extraordinary measures to help combat the country's rising budget deficit. The measures will be passed by a council of ministers led by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero next Friday. Speaking on national radio station RNE1, Blanco said the measures would include bringing forward the introduction of a tax on large companies and a second reform aimed at optimizing spending on pharmaceuticals. Blanco said that the new measures would earn the government an extra 5 billion euros (7 billion U.S. dollars), half of which would come from reducing the cost of prescriptions. He added that corporate tax would not be increased. "These measures are very important for fiscal consolidation," said Blanco, adding that the cabinet would also discuss whether or not to continue paying 400 euros a month to the long-term unemployed. Spain currently has over 4 million people out of work and an unemployment rate of over 20 percent. Blanco also threw his support behind the measures proposed on Tuesday by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "More Europe is good for the economic recovery and it limits the damage that can be caused by speculators in the market. It is wrong to think that the way out of the crisis is merely national-level action," he said.