News / Europe

    New Eurozone Focus: Spain's Debt, Economy

    Civil servants hold up placards as they protest against government austerity measures in Madrid, July 23, 2012.Civil servants hold up placards as they protest against government austerity measures in Madrid, July 23, 2012.
    x
    Civil servants hold up placards as they protest against government austerity measures in Madrid, July 23, 2012.
    Civil servants hold up placards as they protest against government austerity measures in Madrid, July 23, 2012.
    VOA News
    The debt-ridden Spanish government and the country's troubled economy are the newest face of the European debt crisis.

    Stock markets across Asia, Europe and the United States plunged on Monday on fears that Madrid will need an international bailout after the country's borrowing costs soared above the level at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal all were forced to secure rescue packages.

    Economy minister Luis de Guindos denied that Spain would need help beyond the $122 billion package Europe has already sanctioned for the ailing Spanish banking system.

    But as Spain's autonomous regions sought new assistance from the central government for their own debt woes, interest rates on Spanish debt jumped to more than 7.5 percent, the country's highest level in the 13-year history of the euro currency union. The interest rate is well above the seven percent level that pushed the Greek, Irish and Portuguese governments into bailouts.

    Spain's stock market fell sharply Monday for the second straight day of trading. Officials attempted to curb the freefall, banning the practice of short-selling of financial stocks for three months, on the theory that it contributes to a declining market. In short-selling, investors bet that the price of stocks will fall, borrowing stock from a broker, selling it, and then attempting to buy it back at a cheaper price, to pocket the difference.

    Spain has imposed sharp austerity measures, cutting government spending and increasing taxes. Thousands of workers have taken to the streets in recent days in protest, but the government says the changes are necessary to rein in the government's deficit.

    The underlying problem for Spain is its weak economy. Spain has the fourth largest economy in the 17-nation eurozone, but about a fourth of its workers are unemployed.

    Its economy also is contracting, not growing. In a new report, the central bank said the country's economy shrunk four-tenths of a percent in the April-to-June period, with the government predicting that the decline will continue into next year.

    Additionally, there is renewed eurozone attention on Greece and Italy.

    Auditors from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund are gathering in Athens to take a new look at the government's efforts to impose budget cuts so it can receive more money from the country's second bailout in two years.

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday compared the financial woes of his country to that of the United States during its Great Depression in the 1930s.

    Italy, another country with burgeoning debt, also is facing an increase in its borrowing costs.

    Economics professor Nicola Borri said the Spanish economic upheaval has directly affected the interest rate Rome is paying on its debt.

    "So it is not clear right now, if the 100 billion euros that Europe has pledged to save Spanish banks will be able to stop the banking crisis that is right now happening in Spain, and it is not clear yet which is the real trouble in the Spanish provinces. So I think that this uncertainty at the Spanish level is definitely affecting our market as well," said Borri.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora