The price Greece must pay to borrow fresh funds on financial markets topped nine percent Monday, despite assurances from Athens that it would not default on a huge debt repayment due next month.
Analysts say the nine percent rate on 10-year bonds -- three times what Germany pays -- reflects investor fears that Greece may some day fail to pay what it owes on its $400 billion public debt.
The debt crisis, which threatens economic stability across Europe and beyond, worsened last week with new data showing Greek public debt of about 13.6 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. That figure is about 0.7 percent higher than earlier thought.
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund are putting together a $60 billion loan package for Greece.
But analysts say tough conditions set by Germany for participating in the deal are driving lender doubts about the bailout.
Those doubts, in turn, have spawned the surge in interest rates.
Despite the bad news, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said Sunday he is confident his government will get international aid in time to avoid a loan default in mid-May.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.