Newspapers called the measures, equivalent to $80 billion, the biggest fiscal cuts since Spain's transition to democracy in 1975, with many saying they were painful but necessary.
Right-leaning daily El Mundo headlined with a quote from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy when he announced the measures Wednesday, under pressure from the European Union: "We have no choice."
His measures include a rise in value-added sales tax (VAT) and cuts to state expenditure and unemployment benefits.
"We shouldn't mind so much having our economy under European tutelage if this translated into a quick recovery of growth and jobs. But the fear is that it will not be so," wrote left-leaning daily El Pais in an editorial.
"The 65 billion in cutbacks will contribute to depressing activity even more in the short term."
El Mundo said the pressure is now on the government find room to manoeuvre to apply the cuts and raised the prospect of Spain eventually needing a full-blown sovereign bailout from its European partners.
"Rajoy may have played his last card to avoid a general bailout," it wrote in an editorial, criticising Rajoy for hesitating to apply major cuts earlier this year.
"We have lost precious time and have been hindered by the rise in public financing costs to unsustainable levels."
Conservative daily ABC called the new measures indispensable in an extreme situation.
"The cut to benefits was inevitable because these benefits represent a fixed cost that is unaffordable for the state," it wrote. But it warned the measures would hit consumption.
The economist Josep Oliver Alonso wrote in the business newspaper Cinco Dias that VAT taxes most intensely those with the lowest income, who spend a higher proportion of their revenues on consumer goods.
In its front-page headline Barcelona daily El Periodico dubbed the measures simply "The Chop".