Monday

24th Apr 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

European right divided on EU values after Brexit

A day after the UK notified its exit from the EU, leaders of the European People's Party expressed a different vision of Europe's identity, with Hungary's Orban calling for a stop to the Muslim "invasion".

Tusk dragged into 'political' spy probe

EU Council chief appeared as witness in a Russian spy probe in Warsaw amid increasingly toxic political climate in one of the Union's largest states.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Russia threat triggers European military spending hike
  2. Voters 'change face' of French politics
  3. France holds nail-biting 'anti-system' vote
  4. Le Pen-Putin friendship goes back a long way
  5. Mogherini should tell Russians their rights matter
  6. Le Pens Freunde aus dem Trump Tower
  7. Sexe et mensonges: l'information russe sur l'UE
  8. Report: Post-Brexit payments, ECJ jurisdiction could last years