Thursday

13th May 2021

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 to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us