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Wednesday 16.04.2014 | Name days: Mintauts, Alfs, Bernadeta

Spanish Prime Minister calls for further European integration

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Mariano Rajoy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for greater European fiscal and banking integration to save his country and the 17-country euro currency alliance.

Madrid’s key borrowing rate closed at a euro-era high, indicating deep investor concern about the government’s financial stability, The Huffington Post reported.

And late Wednesday, Moody’s Investor Service slashed the government’s credit rating by three notches to just above “junk” status. Moody’s cited the level of debt Spain will be absorbing, the weakness of its economy and the government’s limited ability to raise money.

Rajoy has sent a letter to Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, calling for new measures that might help weaker states like Spain. Those could include sharing debt burdens across countries or guaranteeing bank deposits across the eurozone.

Spain’s budget deficit is 8.9% of GDP which is among the highest in the eurozone. On the other hand, it does not have a particularly high debt to GDP ratio; at 68.5 percent, it’s far lower than even Germany’s, which is 81.2 percent. But Spain’s economy is in a deep recession and has poor growth prospects, making it very difficult for it to reduce debt.

BNN already reported that eurozone finance ministers have succeeded in talking Spain into accepting an EU-funded rescue for its severely indebted banks. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was long insisting that his country needed no financial aid to recapitalize lenders crippled by bad debts from a burst real estate bubble. But now he has agreed to accept a loan of up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion), calling the bank rescue a ‘victory for euro’.

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