Tuesday

5th Jul 2022

Spanish borrowing costs soar

  • Spain - the latest to be dragged into the crisis (Photo: marcp_dmoz)

Eurozone woes deepened Thursday as Spain and France were forced to pay sharply higher interest rates than usual and anti-austerity protesters in Italy and Greece clashed with police.

Spain was hoping to raise some €4 billion by selling 10-year government bonds but had to settle for little over €3.5 billion. It paid an interest rate of slightly less than 7 percent - the highest level since 1997 and 1.5 points above the average paid at similar tenders this year. It is a level of borrowing cost at which other eurozone countries like Ireland and Portugal had been forced to seek financial assistance from abroad.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Voters in Spain are set to oust the current socialist government in elections on Sunday and replace it with a centre-right leadership that has indicated it will push for sharp spending cuts.

France, too, had to pay a relatively high price for government bonds as it raised some €7 billion at an interest rate of around 3.6 percent - a level still considered sustainable but significantly higher than the 3 percent earlier this month.

In several cities in Italy and Greece, meanwhile, protesters have had run-ins with the police as they demonstrated against the newly appointed technocrats now in charge of their respective countries.

Thousands took to the streets in Milan and Turin against the far-reaching austerity measures announced by what they called a "bankers' government" led by economist Mario Monti. "We don't want the banks to rule," they reportedly chanted. Things got violent when police stopped the protesters from approaching Bocconi university, chaired by Monti.

Monti, sworn in on Wednesday and set to win a confidence vote in parliament on Friday, said the three pillars of his government's policy would be budgetary rigour, economic growth and social fairness.

In Athens, tens of thousands of Greeks joined a protest rally on Thursday marking the anniversary of the student uprising that ultimately led to the overthrow of the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974.

Reuters reports that police fired teargas at black-clad youths as protest marchers beat drums, waved red flags and shouted: "EU, IMF out!"

Mass strikes, protests hit Italy, Spain over EU-imposed austerity

Popular anger over Europe’s strategy of austerity for exiting the eurozone crisis spread to Italy on Tuesday as the country was paralysed by a general strike. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Italians poured into the streets of over a hundred cities and towns to protest what Brussels, Frankfurt and Berlin demand.

MEPs boycott awards over controversial sponsorship

Two MEPs have withdrawn their nominations from the MEPs Awards over the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis's participation as a sponsor — currently involved in an alleged bribery scandal in Greece.

EU Parliament interpreters stage strike

Interpreters at the European Parliament are fed up with remote interpretation, citing auditory health issues given the poor quality of the online sessions.

Opinion

The euro — who's next?

Bulgaria's target date for joining the eurozone, 1 January 2024, seems elusive. The collapse of Kiril Petkov's government, likely fresh elections, with populists trying to score cheap points against the 'diktat of the eurocrats', might well delay accession.

News in Brief

  1. European gas production hit by Norway strike
  2. EU Commission told to step up fight against CAP fraud
  3. Ukraine needs €719bn to rebuild, says PM
  4. Germany records first monthly trade deficit since 1991
  5. Pilots from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden strike
  6. Report: EU to sign hydrogen deal with Namibia
  7. Israel and Poland to mend relations
  8. Von der Leyen: EU to set up Ukraine reconstruction platform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. EU Parliament sued over secrecy on Nazi MEP expenses
  2. Italy glacier tragedy has 'everything to do' with climate change
  3. The Digital Services Act — a case-study in keeping public in dark
  4. Report slams German opposition to new child sexual abuse rules
  5. Is China a challenge to Nato? Beijing responds
  6. ECB announces major green shift in corporate bond-buying
  7. Ex-Frontex chief 'uninvited' from parliament committee
  8. Czech presidency and key nuclear/gas vote This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us