End Times and Current Events

General Category => Europe => Topic started by: akfools on October 17, 2011, 01:21:26 am

Title: Watch Spain
Post by: akfools on October 17, 2011, 01:21:26 am
Huge demonstrations erupt in Madrid, Spain

This was the view by the Puerta del Sol in Madrid at 8.30 pm on the October 15, 2011. Thousands of outraged people from the emblematic Plaza Alcalá Street and other surrounding streets, singing songs like "I call democracy and it is not" or "no, no, they do not represent us." (Miguel Angel Medina)


Title: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2011, 07:19:24 pm

[size=18]Spain - the fifth victim to fall in Europe’s arc of depression[/size]
Let us all extend our sympathies to the Spanish people. They face the greatest national emergency since the Civil War yet their vote for drastic change is palpably useless, even if democracy has in this case at least been respected

As union leader Javier Dos put it, the EU-imposed austerity plans of the incoming Partido Popular are “nothing more than the continuation of policies leading Europe toward disaster”.


The immediate destiny of his country lies entirely in the hands of Germany, the AAA creditor core, the EU authorities, and the European Central Bank, the nexus of policy-making power that together dictates whether Spain will be thrown a lifeline or be pushed further into depression and social catastrophe.

What can the quiet Galician do to stop Spain’s 22.6pc unemployment rate – or 46pc for youth – from ratcheting higher this winter as the combined effects of fiscal austerity and a credit crunch together do their worst? How can he stop real M1 deposits contracting at a 5pc rate.


More than any other country, Spain exposes the lie behind this German narrative. It did not cheat, like Greece. It did not breach the Maastricht Treaty’s 60pc debt ceiling like Italy (or Germany itself). Its public debt was 36pc of GDP before the Great Recession. It ran a budget surplus of almost 2pc of GDP in 2007 and 2008.

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Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2011, 09:24:26 pm
The masses need to realize that BOTH the "left" and "right" are merely 2 sides of the SAME coin. If Satan is divided against Satan, his kingdom is divided and falls...



Spanish right wins election by landslide: exit poll

Opposition leader Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party took an absolute majority of between 181 and 185 seats in the 350-member Congress of Deputies, said projections based on an exit poll by public broadcaster RTVE.

The ruling Socialist party PSOE won between 115 and 119 seats, the poll said.


Spain is the fifth and last of the so-called periphery eurozone nations to ditch its government this year after Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Italy.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 23, 2011, 06:34:47 pm
Fitch lowers Asturias region in Spain
23 November 2011, by Nathalie Tadena (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings downgraded the rating of the Spanish region of Asturias one notch, citing deterioration in its budgetary performance in the past three years amid growing debt.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 06, 2011, 12:35:33 pm
Spanish regions will miss 2011 targets: Moody's
5 December 2011, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Moody's Investors Service said Monday that Spain's regional governments are likely to exceed 2011 deficit targets by nearly one percentage point, which is credit negative for those regions.

The ratings firm said that even though data for the first nine months of the year indicate regions are implementing austerity measures, those efforts won't be enough to keep them from exceeding the deficit target of 1.3% of gross domestic product.

The recently elected Spanish government will have to tackle the regions' fiscal problems, as these problems threaten to increase national deficit figures in 2012, the ratings firm said. Deficit targets for 2011 and 2012 are key to rebuilding market confidence, and difficult market conditions have meant stretched liquidity for regions has deteriorated further, leading to the "accumulation of significant commercial debt," said Moody's.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 30, 2011, 06:00:40 pm
Spain's economy worsening, says central bank
29 December 2011, by Louise Armitstead (The Telegraph)

The Bank of Spain has warned that the economy has worsened, rattling investor confidence in Europe's fourth biggest economy just as recently installed prime minister Mariano Rajoy prepares to unveil his immediate budget plans.

The central bank said early indicators show that Spanish tourism, exports, spending and investment have been hit, which is likely to have led to a contraction in GDP in the fourth quarter.

In its December bulletin the bank said: "After the stagnation the Spanish economy showed in the third quarter, the available economic information, still incomplete, indicates activity contracted in the final months of the year."

Mr Rajoy, who was elected in a landslide election victory in November, has said he will today unveil economic measures that will last until a full budget can be presented to parliament in the first quarter of the year.

Spain, which has the eurozone's third-biggest budget deficit, is already struggling under tough austerity measures and the highest unemployment rate for 15 years.

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Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 08:22:48 am
Spain public deficit may top 8 percent: minister



MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's public deficit for 2011 may be higher than the 8 percent of GDP forecast by the new government, the economy minister said Monday, fuelling fears the country faces a prolonged period of tight budgets and economic contraction.
Spain had originally targeted a 2011 deficit of 6 percent of gross domestic product, but the newly elected conservatives said Friday the deficit would be 8 percent. It said it would now have to work hard to hit this year's tough deficit-reduction goals in an economy seen tipping back into recession this quarter and announced new tax rises and spending cuts.
"We'll need to see, but it's possible that we have gone over the 8 percent mark, though (we) expect that it hasn't done so by much," Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said during an interview with Cadena Ser radio, his first since taking the post after the conservatives won the November election.
Friday's announcement that the deficit would be as high as 8 percent of GDP has reignited market concerns about the financing needs of indebted euro zone countries and put downward pressure on the euro, which hit a decade low versus the yen Monday.

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Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 02, 2012, 02:54:01 pm
Spain warns of higher budget deficit for 2011
30 December 2011, Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

More than a month after coming to power, the new center-right government in Spain has warned that the country's budget deficit will surpass prior expectations, hitting around 8% for 2011.

The prior government had predicted a budget deficit of 6%. Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria made the announcements at a press conference, in which she said the government had approved an austerity package worth €8.9 billion euros ($11.5 billion) to combat the country's economic and budgetary difficulties.

Saenz also said the government would need to increase some taxes on a temporary basis.

Title: Spanish Unemployment Rises to 22.9%
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 27, 2012, 09:16:22 am
Spanish Unemployment Rises to 22.9%
27 January 2012, by Emma Ross-Thomas (Bloomberg)


Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 22.9%, the highest in 15 years, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to change labor rules and deliver on his election pledge to create jobs in a shrinking economy.

The unemployment rate rose in the fourth quarter from 21.5% in the previous three months, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said today.

That’s more than twice the euro- region average and exceeds the median estimate of 22.2% in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts.

Spain is home to a third of the euro region’s unemployed, according to the European Union’s statistics office, which estimates that half of young Spaniards are out of work.

The People’s Party government, which won the Nov. 20 election after a campaign focused on jobs, has promised to overhaul labor and wage rules in the next two weeks to prompt companies to hire.

Unemployment “is the main source of vulnerability of the Spanish economy and this is something that we hope to start to fix in the short term,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said today on Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland.

“We have to take a lot of decisions because there are some things that don’t work properly in the labor market in Spain.”

Title: Spain Sinks Deeper Into Periphery on Debt Rise
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2012, 05:36:06 pm
Spain Sinks Deeper Into Periphery on Debt Rise
20 February 2012, by Angeline Benoit (Bloomberg)


Spain’s debt load is set to double from where it was when Europe’s sovereign debt crisis began, eroding the economic advantages that distinguished it from the region’s periphery and helped shield it from Greek contagion.

Finance chiefs meet in Brussels today in the latest effort to save Greece from default.

Spain went into the crisis with public debt of 40% of its GDP, compared with an average ratio of 70% in the euro region.

The European Union forecasts its debt will have almost doubled by next year, as Moody’s Investors Service says Spain is losing one of its “key relative credit strengths.”

Investors give Spain a discount of just 30 basis points on borrowing for a decade compared with what they charge Italy, down from 200 basis points at the end of last year.

Spain’s 10-year yield is 5.18%, up 33 basis points since Feb. 1.

Title: Spain toughens stance in EU deficit stand-off
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 01, 2012, 06:46:21 pm


MADRID (Reuters) - Spain has stepped up its battle to secure more lenient deficit targets from the European Commission this year as its economy slips into recession.
A government source told reporters late on Wednesday that Spain would still be in compliance with European Union agreements on fiscal stability even if it did not hit a tough target of cutting the deficit to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product this year.
Spain would still be showing a commitment to fiscal stability and will be on track to hit the ultimate goal which is a deficit of 3 percent of GDP in 2013, the source said on condition he not be identified.
Madrid said this week that its 2011 budget deficit was 8.5 percent of GDP, 2-1/2 percentage points above a 6 percent target, putting the 2012 goal almost certainly out of reach.


Title: Spain lifts 2012 deficit goal to 5.8% of GDP - Government predicts growth to fal
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 02, 2012, 06:35:20 pm
Spain lifts 2012 deficit goal to 5.8% of GDP - Government predicts growth to fall 1.7%, jobless atop 24% this year
2 March 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)


With the ink barely dry on a new European Union treaty enshrining tougher budget rules, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Friday the country would be targeting a higher deficit to GDP target for this year of 5.8%.

That’s well above the 4.4% target the prior government agreed with the European Union.

Speaking in Brussels at the conclusion of an EU summit, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he had not informed his European counterparts because it was a “sovereign decision,” according to media reports.

He also said the limit respected European Union rules and the stability pact, those reports said, with Spain adding that it remains committed to hitting its target of cutting the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2013.

The Spanish media had been speculating for days that Spain would ask Brussels for a break on its budget target.

Economists have been warning the country could not drop the deficit from 8.5% last year to just over 4% this year, without strangling an already deeply depressed economy.

Earlier in the day, the government announced that unemployment rose to 4.7 million persons in February, a rise of 112,269 from the prior month.

Data released from Eurostat earlier this week revealed that Spain continues to hold the unenviable position of the highest unemployment in the euro zone, at 23.3% for January.

The government forecast Friday that unemployment would reach 24.4% this year.

Title: Spain deficit slippage could trigger fine: EU
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 05, 2012, 02:58:49 pm


Spain is hurtling towards an embarrassing test case of new EU budget rules and possibly a big fine for a "grave" breach of deficit limits, the European Commission said on Monday.
The overshoot amounts to scores of billions of euros, and led analysts to warn that leaders may have signed away more sovereignty to Brussels than intended during the debt crisis and that the onset of recession risks derailing the implementation of new EU rules.
"We need to shed full light on what went on Spain in 2011," EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn's spokesman Amadeu Altafaj said of what he called a "serious, grave" gap in the figures.
Altafaj said Madrid notified Brussels on December 30 that it had overshot its 2011 deficit target by two percentage points, then two days ago that it was another half a percentage point higher.
Spain's 2011 public deficit was supposed to come in at 6.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) but ended up at 8.5 percent, meaning the state spent 90 billion euros ($119 billion) more than it took in last year.


Title: Yields on Italian, Spanish debt rise
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 07, 2012, 01:37:53 pm
Yields on Italian, Spanish debt rise
6 March 2012, by Deborah Levine - New York (MarketWatch)

Spain and Italy's cost of borrowing rose on Tuesday after a report said a Greek default would likely force Italy and Spain to seek aid.

However, the move took yields back to levels about a week ago, at worst - just before the European Central Bank's latest mammoth lending operation.

Spain's 10-year yields rose as high as 5.05% from 4.95% on Monday.

They topped 5.60% at the beginning of the year.

Italy's 10-year yields increased 10 basis points, or 0.1%, to 4.97%, though still near their lowest levels since last fall.

Italy's 2-year yields increased 3 basis points to 1.80% and Spain's were up 5 basis points to 2.31% -- both still down significantly from a week ago.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 15, 2012, 06:15:39 pm
Spanish house prices drop 11.2%, lowest since 2007
15 March 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Spanish house prices fell 11.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011 on an annual basis, a decrease of almost four percentage points from the previous quarter, with the index at the lowest since the first quarter of 2007, the national statistical office said Thursday.

In the third quarter, house prices fell 7.4% The prices of used homes fell 13.7% in the quarter on an annual basis.

House prices have been sharply declining since the fourth quarter of 2010, amid a collapse in the housing industry, which spurred a downturn in the Spanish economy.

Title: Spain edges toward economic abyss amid Europe woes
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 29, 2012, 12:18:31 pm


MADRID (AP) — Investors concerned that Spain is fast becoming Europe's riskiest economic link and could be the next bailout candidate have plenty to worry about this week.

On Thursday, much of the country will shut down in a general strike against labor market reforms that make it cheaper for companies to fire and offers incentives for them to hire.

The next day, new center-right Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to unveil about €30 billion ($40 billion) in spending cuts and tax hikes in a deficit-slashing budget. This comes fast on the heels of a similar €15 billion austerity package unveiled less than three months ago as part of Spain's push to avoid joining the ranks of bailed-out Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

So far, Rajoy has only given hints about what's in store in the next round of fiscal pain for Spain, which is already lurching toward recession and is battered with an unemployment rate of nearly 23 percent, the highest among the 17 countries that use the euro.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 05, 2012, 10:22:33 am
Spanish, Italian yields surge after auction
4 April 2012, by Sara Sjolin - London  (MarketWatch)

Yields on Italian and Spanish government bonds surged on Wednesday after Spain saw borrowing costs rise in its first auction demand since presenting its latest austerity budget last week.

In the secondary market, yields on 10-year Spanish government bonds jumped 11 basis points to 5.52%, after trading around 5.28% earlier in the week.

Yields on 10-year Italian government bonds gained 19 basis points to 5.26%.

Spanish yields jump above 5.7%; Italian yields up
5 April 2012, by Sara Sjolin - London (MarketWatch)

Spanish and Italian bond yields continued to rise on Thursday, as the broader European equity market declined.

Yields on 10-year Spanish government bonds added 5 basis to 5.71%, the highest level since December last year, when the European Central Bank conducted its first three-year long-term refinance operation, LTRO.

On Wednesday, Spanish yields surged as much as 24 basis points. The IBEX 35 index gave up 0.7% to 7,609.60 Thursday.

Yields on 10-year Italian government bonds jumped 11 basis points to 5.4%, while the FTSE MIB index lost 0.8% to 15,109.55.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 10, 2012, 04:19:03 pm
Iran Escalates Again, Cuts Off Oil Shipments To Spain
10 April 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

Those hoping for a quick and painless resolution to the Iranian question may have just seen their hopes dashed, following the breaking news from Iranian Press TV, according to which not only is Iran not seeking to appease its Western counterparts, but is, in fact escalating.

From Press TV: "Tehran has cut oil supply to Spain after stopping crude export to Greece as part of its countersanctions, unnamed sources confirmed on Tuesday.

Tehran also mulls cutting oil supply to Germany and Italy."

"Countersactions" - lovely: another Swiss watch plan by the insolvent developed world.

Said otherwise, one can hardly threaten to do something to a country, which is already doing so voluntarily, in the process hurting Europe's already crippled economies even more by removing the cheapest source of energy for both.

Which however begs the question: just how much more Iranian crude are China and India importing despite promises to the contrary, and open warnings from the US not to do so?

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 17, 2012, 05:03:08 pm
Bank of Spain: Country is back in recession
17 April 2012, by David Roman - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Spain's economy is back in recession after a mild recovery in early and mid-2011, and faces an "exceptional" situation that may led to further increases in unemployment, Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said Tuesday.

The euro zone's fourth-largest economy is also conducting what Fernandez Ordonez called an "unprecedented" fiscal adjustment--seeking to lower its budget deficit from 8.5% of GDP last year to 5.3% of GDP this year--in an address to a parliamentary committee.

Fernandez Ordonez also defended the European Central Bank's move to provide ample bank liquidity via auctions conducted in December and February.

He added that, despite the misgivings of critics, the fresh liquidity inflow hasn't slowed down the progress of Spain's reform drive.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2012, 03:25:40 pm
"Not if, but when" for Spanish bailout, experts believe
17 April 2012, by Luke Baker - Brussels (Reuters)

* Investor concerns target Spain as bond yields rise

* Analysts believe banks will need a euro zone bailout

* But Madrid could resist for months, even into 2013

* Critical factor is extent of Spanish mortgage debt

Spain’s Surging Bad Loans Cast New Doubts on Bank Cleanup
18 April 2012, by Charles Penty (Bloomberg)


Spain’s surging bad loans are spurring doubt on whether the government can persuade investors that it can clean up the country’s banks without further damaging public finances.

Non-performing loans as a proportion of total lending jumped to 8.16% in February, the highest level since 1994, from less than 1% in 2007, according to Bank of Spain data published today.

The ratio rose from 7.91% in January as €3.8 billion of loans soured in February, a 110% increase from the same month a year ago.

That takes the total credit in the economy that the regulator lists as “doubtful” to €143.8 billion.

Defaults are rising and credit is shrinking at a record pace as 24% unemployment corrodes the quality of loans built up in the country’s credit boom and saps the appetite of banks to make new ones.

Doubts about the extent of Spain’s non- performing loans problem is hurting bank stocks and driving up the government’s borrowing costs on investor concern that the expense of propping up ailing lenders may add to the debt burden.

“One of our concerns in Spain is to what extent contingent liabilities could pass to the central government,” said Andrew Bosomworth, Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Munich-based head of portfolio management.

Non-performing loans “will have to rise when you take into account the unemployment rate and what’s happening with the economy,” he said.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 18, 2012, 03:28:56 pm
Spanish banks' bad-loan ratio hits 18-year high
18 April 2012, Madrid (MarketWatch)

Spanish bank's bad loans ratio hit a 17-year high in February, with the ratio topping 8%, the central bank said Wednesday.

The Bank of Spain data showed that 8.16% of the loans held by banks, or €143.82 billion, were more than three months overdue for repayment in February, up from 7.91% in January.

This is the highest percentage recorded since October 1994, and contrasts with bad debt levels below 1% of all loans in the years prior to the 2008 collapse of the country's property market.

Spanish Banks Gorging on Sovereign Bonds Shifts Risk
18 April 2012, by Yalman Onaran (Bloomberg)


Spanish, Italian and Portuguese banks are loading up on bonds issued by their own governments, a move that shifts more of the risk of sovereign default to European taxpayers from private creditors.

Holdings of Spanish government debt by lenders based in the country jumped 26% in two months, to €220 billion ($289 billion) at the end of January, data from Spain’s treasury show.

Italian banks increased ownership of their nation’s sovereign bonds by 31% to €267 billion in the three months ended in February, according to Bank of Italy data.

German and French banks, meanwhile, have cut holdings of those countries’ bonds, as well as Irish and Greek debt, by as much as 50% since 2010 in some cases.

That leaves domestic firms on the hook for a restructuring such as Greece’s last month and their main financier, the European Central Bank, facing losses.

Like Greece, governments would have to rescue their lenders with funds borrowed from the European Union.

“The more banks stop cross-border lending, the more the ECB steps in to do the financing,” said Guntram Wolff, deputy director of Bruegel, a Brussels-based research institute.

“So the exposure of the core countries to the periphery is shifting from the private to the public sector.”

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 19, 2012, 01:25:38 pm
Borrowing costs rise for Spain at key auctions
19 April 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

The Spanish Treasury on Thursday sold €2.54 billion ($3.33 billion) in bonds dated 2014 and 2022, which was more than expected, but its borrowing costs rose.

The Treasury had been targeting a range of €1.5 billion to €2.5 billion for the auction.

The yield on the 10-year auction rose to 5.74% from 5.403% at a prior auction of similar paper in January.

For the auction of two-year paper, the yield rose to 3.46% from a prior 2.069% at an auction in March.

The 10-year auction was covered 2.42 times, versus a prior 2.16 times, while the 2-year auction was covered 3.28 times from a prior 2.81.

The yield on the 10-year Spanish government bond in second markets rose 2 basis point to 5.87%, according to Tradeweb, while the Spain IBEX 35 index fell 0.7% to 7,032.40.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 23, 2012, 01:50:55 pm
Spain economy shrank 0.4 percent in Q1 - central bank
23 April 2012, Madrid (Reuters)

Spain's economy probably contracted 0.4% in the first quarter of 2012, its central bank said on Monday, the first clear official confirmation of the scale of recession in one of the two large economies at the centre of the euro zone's debt crisis.

Government and economists' forecasts have been pointing for some time to a contraction at the start of this year in quarter-on-quarter terms, but the figure in the central bank's monthly report has tended to give an accurate reflection of official data. The official numbers are due on April 30.

The Bank of Spain's report said weak domestic demand had dragged the economy into its second formal recession - two consecutive quarters of negative quarterly growth - since 2008 while the outlook for the rest of the year was uncertain.

"The Spanish economy began 2012 in relapse, in which very weak domestic demand side was only offset by relative strength in the external sector," the bank said.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 25, 2012, 05:17:36 pm
Rising Italy-to-Spain Yields Keep Banks on Life Support
25 April 2012, by Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch (Bloomberg)


European lenders, more reliant than ever on emergency aid after borrowing $1.3 trillion from their central bank, may need additional cash infusions until policy makers stem the crisis engulfing Spain and Italy.

After more than 30 bond sales in the first quarter, no bank has sold unsecured debt this month, and the cost of insuring against default has soared to levels last seen in January.

Financial stocks, which rallied 20% following the European Central Bank’s December decision to provide unlimited three-year loans, are now 2% lower since then.

Investors are balking after some lenders used the ECB cash to boost holdings of sovereign debt and governments struggled to rein in deficits.

Because banks post collateral in exchange for the ECB loans, the amount unsecured bondholders would get back in a default has shrunk.

That has raised funding costs for what Morgan Stanley estimates is about €700 billion ($924 billion) of debt lenders must refinance by the end of 2013.

“There is a very compelling case for further intervention from the ECB,” said Barbara Ridpath, chief executive officer of the International Centre for Financial Regulation, a London- based research group funded by banks and the U.K. government.

“Many of these banks simply cannot refinance their maturing debt in the bond market.”

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 26, 2012, 07:07:16 pm
Spain’s Ratings Cut by S&P on Deficit, Bank Bailout Concern
26 April 2012, by Cordell Eddings (Bloomberg)

Spain’s sovereign credit rating was by Standard & Poor’s on concern the nation will have to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector as the economy contracts.

Spain’s short-term rating was lowered to A-2 from A-1, while the outlook on the long-term rating is negative, New York- based S&P said in a statement today.

The nation’s 10-year borrowing costs have climbed about 70 basis points this year as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to convince investors he can control public finances amid soaring unemployment and a contracting economy.

Banks threaten to disrupt the premier’s efforts as bad loans reach the highest levels in almost two decades.

“Spain’s budget trajectory will likely deteriorate against a background of economic contraction,” S&P wrote in the statement.

“At the same time, we see an increasing likelihood that Spain’s government will need to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector.

As a consequence, we believe there are heightened risks that Spain’s net general govern debt could rise further.”

Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds surpassed 6% on seven trading days this month, boosting concern that borrowing costs may reach levels that prompted bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. The rate was 5.83%.

Budget Shortfall

The Bank of Spain said April 23 that GDP contracted 0.4% in the first quarter, tipping the nation into its second recession since 2009.

Rajoy said March 2 that that nation would miss its 4.4% deficit target and then agreed 10 days later with euro-region finance ministers to a new goal of 5.3%.

Spain’s budget shortfall will reach 6% this year and 5.7% in 2013, as the government pushes through the deepest budget cuts in at least three decades, according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund published April 17.

Debt will reach 84% of GDP next year.

While that’s less than France and Italy, it’s up from 40% in 2008, when a real estate boom started to collapse.

“We could also consider a downgrade if political support for the current reform agenda were to wane,” the S&P statement said.

“ Moreover, we could lower the ratings if we see that Spain’s external position worsens or its competitiveness does not continue to approach that of its trading partners, a key factor for Spain to return to sustainable economic and employment growth.”

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 26, 2012, 07:10:47 pm
Spain Yields at 6% Show Bank, Economy Risk: Euro Credit
26 April 2012, by Emma Charlton and Lukanyo Mnyanda (Bloomberg)


As Spain’s recession undermines efforts to cut the deficit, the risk of bank losses is keeping 10-year yields at almost 6% as investors speculate the government will be forced to bail out the financial system.

The nation’s 10-year borrowing costs have climbed about 70 basis points this year as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to convince investors he can control public finances amid soaring unemployment and a contracting economy.

Banks threaten to disrupt the premier’s efforts as bad loans reach the highest levels in almost two decades.

“Spain is likely to need support in both the banking and government sectors,” said Jamie Stuttard, head of international bond portfolio management at Fidelity Investments, which has $1.2 trillion of assets.

“Government bond market developments hold the key.”

Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds surpassed 6% on seven trading days this month, boosting concern that borrowing costs may reach levels that prompted bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

The rate was 5.77% at 9:03 a.m. London time.

Investors lost 1.2%, including reinvested interest, on Spanish debt repayable in one year or more over the past three months, according to indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies.

The bonds are the worst performers in Europe after Greece.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 27, 2012, 12:24:14 pm
Germany Rejects Spain Banks Tapping Bailout Fund, Meister Says
27 April 2012, by Rainer Buergin and Brian Parkin (Bloomberg)

Spain’s rating downgrade at Standard & Poor’s doesn’t alter Germany’s stance that banks can’t have direct access to Europe’s financial backstops, a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said.

“The German position is absolutely strict,” Michael Meister, the deputy caucus chairman of Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said in a phone interview in Berlin.

“And since such aid programs require unanimity, there’s not going to be any change. All sorts of people can try to set things in motion, but Germany won’t vote for it.”

It’s “obvious” that there can’t be unconditional help from the European Stability Mechanism to Spanish banks, Meister said today.

The responsibility and liability for the ESM lies with its members, which are nation states, not banks, he said.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 28, 2012, 04:47:14 pm


Spanish unemployment hits record 5.64 million

Spanish unemployment has hit a new record high, official figures have shown.

The number of unemployed people reached 5,639,500 at the end of March, with the unemployment rate hitting 24.4%, the national statistics agency said.

The figures came hours after rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Spanish sovereign debt.

Official figures due out on Monday are expected to confirm that Spain has fallen back into recession.

Earlier this week, the Bank of Spain said the economy contracted by 0.4% in first three months of this year, after shrinking by 0.3% in the final quarter of last year.

Other figures released on Friday showed that Spanish retail sales were down 3.7% in March from the same point a year ago, the 21st month in row sales have fallen.

'Huge crisis'
In the first three months of the year, 365,900 people in Spain lost their jobs.

The country has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union and it is expected to rise further this year.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
The recession is so deep that when you take one step forward on austerity, it takes you two steps back”
End Quote
Stephen King
Chief economist, HSBC
What ails the Spanish economy?

The rate has risen sharply since April 2007, when it stood at 7.9%.

"The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government... Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said.

The new government has announced reforms to the labour market, including cutting back on severance pay and restricting inflation-linked salary increases, that it hopes will ease the problem.

These measures have angered unions, which have organised widespread general strikes in protest.

The government has also introduced drastic spending cuts designed to reduce its debt levels and meet deficit targets agreed with the European Union. These cuts are contributing to Spain's economic contraction.

"In Spain today, a cycle similar to Greece is starting to develop," said HSBC chief economist Stephen King.

"The recession is so deep that when you take one step forward on austerity, it takes you two steps back."

The interest rate, or yield, on Spanish government bonds traded in the secondary market rose following the release of the unemployment figures and the S&P downgrade.

The yield on 10-year bonds rose to 5.96%, up from 5.81%, suggesting investors were becoming more wary of Spain's ability to repay its debts.

Also on Friday, the interest rate Italy has to pay to borrow money from international investors rose. In a sale of 10-year bonds, the government offered a rate of 5.84% compared with 5.24% at a similar sale a month earlier.

However, the government raised 5.95bn euros ($7.88bn; £4.85bn), towards the top end of its target range.

'Comprehensive' reforms
Late on Thursday night, the ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut Spain's rating by two notches to BBB+, warning that the country might have to take on more debt to support its banking sector.

S&P predicts the Spanish economy will shrink by 1.5% this year, having previously forecast 0.3% growth.

However, the agency did make a number of positive comments about the government's attempts to bolster Spain's economy.

"We believe that the new government has been front-loading and implementing a comprehensive set of structural reforms, which should support economic growth over the longer term," S&P said.

"In particular, authorities have implemented a comprehensive reform of the Spanish labour market, which we believe could significantly reduce many of the existing structural rigidities and improve the flexibility in wage setting."

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 30, 2012, 10:47:39 pm
Spain tumbles into recession
30 April 2012, by Katell Abiven - Madrid (AFP)

Spain has toppled back into recession, official data confirmed Monday, but the government warned there was no alternative to austerity to build future growth.

Spain's gross domestic product shrank by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012, equalling the slump in the final quarter of 2011, according to preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute.

The recession returned barely two years after Spain emerged gingerly from the last downturn.

Despite growing opposition to cuts during a recession with 24.4% unemployment in the first quarter, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said fiscal restraint was more essential than ever.

"The Spanish government does not see any incompatability between austerity and economic growth," he told a news conference in Santiago de Compostela after talks with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"Budget discipline is unavoidable if we want to build solid foundations and sufficient financing for economic growth in our country -- it is a necessary condition," he said.

Tens of thousands of people took the streets on Sunday to protest against austerity measures by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government, especially those affecting health care and education.

"Looking ahead, we fear that things are likely to get worse before they get better," warned ING economist Martin van Vliet.

"Indeed, the ongoing drag from real estate and the sheer scale of Spain's planned fiscal adjustment -- more than four percent of GDP this year -- mean that the recession will almost certainly deepen in the coming quarters, pushing unemployment to even more dramatic highs."

Doubts about Spain's ability to meet its deficit goals have been amplified by the plight of the banks, many bogged down in bad loans extended during a property boom which collapsed in 2008.

Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded the ratings of the top Spanish banks, including Santander and BBVA, after slashing the country's credit standing because of the deficit and recession.

The banks affected include Santander and its subsidiary Banesto, BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Banca Civica, Bankinter and the local unit of Barclays.

The government said it was studying a scheme to allow banks to split off their bad loans and place them into a separate agency but without financial help from the state.

An economy ministry official said banks that joined the scheme would have to set aside financial provisions that recognise the sharply reduced market value of the loans, extended during the housing bubble.

"If the valuation of the assets is correct, the possibility of separating property assets from bank balance sheets is something that I think makes sense and is positive for the entities," De Guindos said.

"It allows them to free up capital and fundamentally allows the banks to focus on their core business which is banking and not real estate," he said.

Bank of Spain figures on Friday showed commercial banks held problem real estate loans worth €184 billion ($243 billion), some 60% of their property portfolio at the end of 2011.

The ratio of bad loans -- those at least three months in arrears -- hit an 18-year high in February of 8.15% of total credit extended.

Spain aims to lower the public deficit -- the shortfall in revenues to spending -- to 5.3% of GDP this year and 3.0% of GDP next year, after allowing it to hit 8.5% of GDP in 2011.

The accumulated public debt is officially forecast to leap to 79.8% of GDP this year from 68.5% at the end of 2011.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 30, 2012, 10:54:51 pm
Spain's Central Bank consults experts on toxic assets: sources
30 April 2012 , by Fiona Ortiz - Madrid (Reuters)

Spain's Central Bank is consulting with international bankers and property experts on setting up a holding company to value and sell off toxic real estate assets from the country's troubled financial sector, two sources said on Monday.

The consultation process will last a few weeks, one of the sources, from the central bank, said. "When we have those opinions we will use them for input on the formula for the entity," the source told Reuters.

Spain's banks were hit by billions of euros of losses after a decade-long property bubble burst in 2008 and concern about them, and the country's overspending regional governments, have fanned fears of a new euro zone debt crisis.

It has restructured the financial sector three times, injected some €18 billion into the system, taken over five banks and forced banks to recognize steep losses.

But investors are not convinced all the risks have been worked out of the system and Spain's borrowing costs are hovering around 6%, a point below levels deemed unsustainable.

The government is looking at what it calls a liquidation structure -- refusing to use the term bad bank -- to take toxic assets off the banks' books.

"Separating the real estate assets from the bank balances is something that makes sense and is positive for the banks from many points of view," Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said at a news conference on Monday.

"It allows you to free up capital and fundamentally it allows the banks to do their banking business and not the real estate business," he said.

Asked which banks were advising the government de Guindos declined to answer, saying talks were ongoing. The Bank of Spain source also declined to name the advisers.


Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Spain's public debt by two notches last week, saying the country's banks could become a burden for the state.

It followed that up on Monday by chopping the credit score of 11 banks saying they faced the same economic risks as government debt.

The government has ruled out seeking an international bailout like Greece, Portugal and Ireland and has said several times that it is not following Ireland's bad-bank model.

Under the current thinking, the Spanish entity will not have a banking license and will not be able to do financial operations, but will function as a real estate liquidation firm.

The banks are holding some €184 billion of troubled real estate assets, including land, buildings and bad loans to developers.

They will write off some 60% of that in forced provisioning this year under new rules announced by de Guindos in February.

On Friday government officials said that if the assets that go into the liquidation company sell for less than their written-down value, the banking sector will have to absorb the losses.

However, it is not clear how that would be done and over what time period.


One of Spain's bigger banks, Bankia, lies at the heart of concerns over the banking system due to its large exposure to the country's property sector.

A holding company solution might benefit Bankia and its parent company Banco Financiero y de Ahorros (BFA), which have repossessed real estate assets of around €11 billion of which €5 billion are undeveloped land.

Under de Guindos's new rules for banks, it must boost capital this year by €5 billion to cushion against future losses. It has already set aside about half of that.

Despite pressure to consolidate with another bank, Bankia is sticking to its standalone strategy, saying it could meet requirements for provisions against property losses without public money or a merger.

The Central Bank is in the process of auctioning off Banco Valencia and CatalunyaCaixa, which it took over last year.

Up until now it has had to provide steep guarantees against future losses in order to unload rescued banks.

Financial sources expect Banco Valencia to be taken over by a mid-sized savings bank while bigger banks are looking at CatalunyaCaixa.

Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank, has so far stayed out of the banking consolidation fray in Spain, but its chief executive said last week that it was looking at the next banks the Central Bank will be selling off.

Savings bank CatalunyaCaixa could offer Santander or another Spanish banking giant BBVA a way to increase their network in the industrialized eastern region of Catalonia.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 30, 2012, 11:04:20 pm
Egan Jones Cuts Spain For Second Time In Two Weeks, From BBB- To BB+
30 April 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

TEXT-S&P takes negative rating actions on 16 Spanish banks
30 April 2012, (Reuters)


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 01, 2012, 11:56:37 am

Why We Should Worry about Spain’s Economic Pain


Two years ago this month I was in Madrid reporting a story on the troubles of the Spanish economy and what they meant for Europe and its debt crisis. And here I am today writing about the troubles of the Spanish economy and what they mean for Europe and its debt crisis. I usually don’t like to repeat myself, but the fact that I am anyway shows just how badly Europe’s strategy for resolving its debt crisis is failing.

In fact, Spain’s predicament has actually worsened in the past two years. The national statistics bureau revealed on Monday that GDP contracted by 0.3% in the first quarter from the previous one – placing Spain officially back in recession. Unemployment has continued to rise: Now, a staggering one in four people are out of work. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the government’s credit rating last week, and followed that up on Monday by doing the same to 11 Spanish banks. Meanwhile, Spain’s borrowing costs remain elevated. The yield on 10-year government bonds is back near 6%.

We should all be very worried about what’s going on in Spain. Because Spain isn’t Greece. The Greek crisis was most likely not a direct threat to the survival of the monetary union. Its economy was simply too small. The danger was in the possible contagion effect Greece might present if it outright defaulted or bolted from the union. Spain, the zone’s fourth-largest economy (after Germany, France and Italy) can do a lot of damage all by itself. If Spain ultimately requires a bailout, it would strain the resources available in the zone’s rescue fund (the European portion of which was recently boosted to a total of $925 billion) and put pressure on the zone to fatten up the fund even more, which Germany and others have been reluctant to do. Such an event would also be the biggest blow to the future of the euro yet, likely reigniting the crisis in Italy and making other bailouts more likely (especially for Portugal). With emerging markets slowing down, Europe in the toilet, the U.S. recovery uncertain, and energy prices high, a Spanish meltdown is exactly what the global economy doesn’t need right now.

Read more

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 09, 2012, 12:47:52 am
Bankia shares drop as Spain readies bailout
8 May 2012, (AFP)


Shares in Spain's fourth-biggest listed bank, Bankia, fell sharply Tuesday after the government said it would inject public money in the lender this week to clean up huge bad loans.

On Monday shares in Bankia, which has the industry's largest exposure to the property market at €37.5 billion ($49 billion), had lost 3.26%.

An economy ministry official told AFP Monday that the government was "finalising a plan to clean up the bank", adding that the scheme would use public money and was likely to be announced by Friday.


The leading daily El Pais estimated Bankia would need €5-€10 billion ($6.5-$13 billion) to repair its balance sheet.

Business daily Expansion put the figure at €5-€7 billion.

Title: Spain Underplaying Bank Losses Faces Ireland Fate
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 10, 2012, 10:34:19 pm
Spain Underplaying Bank Losses Faces Ireland Fate
10 May 2012, by Yalman Onaran (Bloomberg)


Spain is underestimating potential losses by its banks, ignoring the cost of souring residential mortgages, as it seeks to avoid an international rescue like the one Ireland needed to shore up its financial system.

The government has asked lenders to increase provisions for bad debt by €54 billion ($70 billion) to €166 billion.

That’s enough to cover losses of about 50% on loans to property developers and construction firms, according to the Bank of Spain.

There wouldn’t be anything left for defaults on more than €1.4 trillion of home loans and corporate debt

Taking those into account, banks would need to increase provisions by as much as five times what the government says, or €270 billion, according to estimates by the Centre for European Policy Studies, a Brussels-based research group.

Plugging that hole would increase Spain’s public debt by almost 50% or force it to seek a bailout, following in the footsteps of Ireland, Greece and Portugal.

“How can you only talk about one type of real estate lending when more and more loans are going bad everywhere in the economy?” said Patrick Lee, a London-based analyst covering Spanish banks for Royal Bank of Canada.

“Ireland managed to turn its situation around after recognizing losses much more aggressively and thus needed a bailout.

I don’t see how Spain can do it without outside support.”

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 12, 2012, 05:01:35 pm

One year on, Spain's 'indignants' take to streets
By Daniel Silva | AFP – 1 hr 5 mins ago

Masses of chanting "indignant" activists poured into the streets across Spain on Saturday in a vast show of strength one year on from igniting a global protest against economic injustice.
Thousands packed Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square, the emblematic birthplace of their popular movement against inequality, sky-high unemployment and spending cuts that shook the political establishment.
Many had marched to the square for hours in separate columns of protesters from all directions.
Police gave no estimate for the turnout in Madrid but the authorities in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city, said around 45,000 jammed the Plaza de Catalunya square.
The marches, held in 80 cities and towns across Spain, launch a four-day protest that will end on May 15, the anniversary of the movement's birth -- a date that led them to being dubbed 15-M.
The movement, which relies heavily on online social networks to campaign and organise, has inspired similar protests from Britain to the United States' Occupy Wall Street.
"We never ceased to exist. It is not that we have returned, we never left," said a 25-year-old nursing intern in Barcelona, adding she planned to camp overnight in the square.
While Barcelona city hall seems prepared to tolerate a camp for a limited period, the authorities in Madrid insist they will not allow a repeat of last year's month-long sprawling encampment in Puerta del Sol that included everything from a canteen to a kindergarten and a library.
Spain's conservative government, in power since December, has issued a permit for the "indignants" to use Puerta del Sol for a five-hour assembly Saturday and for 10 hours on each of the following three days.
But the activists' plans published online call for a minute of silence at midnight and for a "permanent assembly" to be held in Puerta del Sol during the four-day protest.
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the government would ensure that the hours are respected.
"To stay in the square beyond those hours would be a violation of the law and of the rights of other citizens, and this government will ensure the law is respected," she told reporters Friday after a weekly cabinet meeting.
A year after the movement's birth, Spaniards have even more to protest: a recession, unemployment at 24.4 percent and 52 percent for the young, and more than 30 billion euros ($39 billion) worth of austerity cuts so far this year.
"We are here because we continue to be angry over the austerity policies which an economic elite is imposing on us," said 21-year-old philosophy student Victor Valdes at the Madrid rally.
Another protester, 23-year-old office worker Marina Santos said: "It is important to show that we are still here, that there are thousands of people that want a change and are willing to work for it."
She carried a handmade sign that read: "Another World is Possible" as she marched to Puerta del Sol to the beat of drums.
The "indignants" have staged overwhelmingly peaceful protests and neighbourhood assemblies since their camp at Puerta del Sol was dismantled on June 12 last year, but interest has tapered off.
"The movement has mutated, it is still there. What has happened is that it is not on the streets, it is online and in social networks," said Noelia Moreno, a former spokeswoman for the movement in Madrid.
"This is a long-distance race, no one can change an entire political system in one day or one year, it takes time," the 30-year-old unemployed video producer added.
Critics charge that beyond staging rallies, the movement has had little impact.
Antonio Alaminos, sociology professor at Alicante University, said the "indignants" had failed to organise and were left expressing a discontent born from social and economic malaise without a concrete ideology.
"The result: lots of small relatively disconnected groups that no longer form a social movement," he said.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 17, 2012, 12:39:56 pm
Euro crisis: Run on nationalised Spanish bank sees customers withdraw €1BILLION... as French government slashes its own pay by 30%
Shares in Bankia, Spain's fourth largest bank, fall 27% after media reports
Greece forms government, but will dissolve it tomorrow for new election
Francois Hollande slashes pay to 'highlight difference' with Sarkozy
Greeks also 'running the banks' by withdrawing £650million per day
Rumours Greek cashpoints could limit how much money they give out
Moody's reviewing credit rating of 114 European institutions

A €1billion run on a recently nationalised Spanish bank has sparked further fears that the 17-nation eurozone is about to implode.

European markets fell as fears of a continent-wide contagion from goverment-less Greece's economic crisis also spread.

Shares in Bankia, Spain's fourth biggest bank formed in 2010 through a merger of seven struggling regional savings institutions, today plummeted by 27 per cent.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2145764/Run-nationalised-Spanish-bank-sees-customers-withdraw-1BILLION--French-government-slashes-pay-30.html#ixzz1v9KzTFDE

No deposit flight at Bankia - Spain govt official

MADRID | Thu May 17, 2012 7:51am EDT

MADRID May 17 (Reuters) - Spain's Economy Secretary said on Thursday there had not been an exit of deposit funds from troubled bank Bankia.

"It's not true that there is an exit of deposits at this moment from Bankia," said Economy Secretary Fernando Jimenez Latorre.

El Mundo newspaper earlier reported that Bankia had lost over 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in deposits, around 1 percent of retail and corporate accounts, over the past week.


Title: Bank Runs spread to Spain
Post by: Charrington on May 17, 2012, 02:29:39 pm
Bank Runs spread to Spain

The problem with bank runs is that once they start, they don't stop. And while the world was conveniently distracted by events in Greece, debating whether or not people were withdrawing money in droves (they were), the real bank run happened elsewhere, namely in Spain, where just nationalized bank Bankia moments ago plunged 30% and was halted following an El Mundo report that "customers had withdrawn €1 billion over the past week." In other words -  a bank run (but whatever you do, don't call it that - it's not the politically correct and accepted nomenclature) which has sent shockwaves through Europe, pushed the EURUSD under 1.27, and bond yields in their traditional "Europe is open" direction - wider.

From FT:

    Shares in Bankia, the Spanish bank which was part-nationalised last week, plunged by over a quarter on Thursday morning, after a report that customers had withdrawn €1bn from the bank over the past week.


    Shares fell 27 per cent to €1.21 after El Mundo, a national Spanish newspaper, reported customers had withdrawn €1bn from the bank over the past week, citing information from a recent board meeting.


    The self-styled “the leader of the new banks” was formed from seven cajas last year and has now shed nearly 70 per cent of its market capitalisation since its shares were listed in July of last year.


    The fall helped to drive the broader IBEX 35 index down 2 per cent to 6,480.7.

The news has started to spill over to other PIIGS banks, and very soon all Italian banks will resume being suspended limit down on fear that the bank run contagion, pardon, the withdrawal meme (h/t William Banzai), because in this fake, artificially supported world, one is never allowed to call a spade a spade, has commenced.

In th meantime don't panic: after all, just recall the Bank of Spain statement which promised that despite the Bankia nationalization, that "BFA-Bankia is a solvent entity that continues to function quite normally and customers and depositors should have no concern."

Turns out depositors had a few concerns...


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 17, 2012, 02:49:25 pm
It's only a matter of time before they start in North America.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 17, 2012, 05:51:10 pm
Moody's cuts ratings of 16 Spanish banks
17 May 2012, by Sue Chang - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Moody's Investors Service on Thursday lowered ratings of 16 Spanish banks and Banco Santander's U.K.-based subsidiary by one to three notches.

Moody's cited unfavorable operating conditions on renewed recession, reduced creditworthiness of the Spanish sovereign, and rapid deterioration in asset quality for the downgrades.

The outlooks on ten of the banks are negative while ratings of seven other banks remain on review for further downgrade.

Some of the affected banks include Banco Santander SA, Banco Espanol de Credito, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Caixabank, and Ceca.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 17, 2012, 09:34:32 pm


Spain beset by bank crisis, downgrades, bond pressure
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's borrowing costs shot up at a bond auction on Thursday and its troubled banks suffered a double blow, with shares in part-nationalized Bankia diving and 16 lenders - including the euro zone's biggest - having their credit ratings cut.
Official data confirmed Spain was back in recession and a newspaper reported a big outflow of deposits from Bankia, but the government said it had taken a fundamental step to strengthen Spain's credibility by agreeing big budget cuts with the country's free-spending regions.
Moody's Investors Service cut the long-term debt and deposit ratings of the 16 Spanish banks, including Banco Santander, the euro zone's largest, saying the government's ability to support some banks had weakened.
Spain's banks, saddled with bad loans after a property boom collapsed, lie at the heart of the euro zone crisis as markets fear any major rescue would strain Madrid's already stretched finances and possibly require an international bailout.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 18, 2012, 12:04:40 am
Moody's downgrades four Spanish regions
17 May 2012, by Ben Fox (MarketWatch)

Moody's Investors Service lowered its rating on four Spanish regions, citing their poor fiscal performance and the low probability that the regional governments will be able to meet this year's deficit target set by central government.

The regions of Murcia and Andalucia were cut by two notches, while Extremadura and Catalunya were cut by one, while Moody's affirmed its ratings on the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia.

Catalunya and Murcia were dropped to junk level territory, as Moody's cited the regions' poor finances last year and its expectation that they are likely to miss the 2012 deficit target.

All six regions' outlooks are negative, in line with Spain's negative outlook, but the ratings action concludes a downgrade review that Moody's initiated in February.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 18, 2012, 05:25:39 pm
Spain's GDP contracts as austerity hits spending
17 May 2012, by Christopher Bjork - Madrid (MarketWatch)

--Government, households buy less goods, services

--Business investment falls most in two years

--Exports are softening

Spain's government, households and companies reined in spending in the first three months of the year, leading the euro zone's fourth-biggest economy to contract 0.3% from the fourth quarter.

Exports softened after several quarters of strong growth, reflecting the wider slowdown in Europe. Exports had been a bright spot throughout the country's drawn-out economic crisis.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 19, 2012, 03:10:32 pm

18 May 2012 Last updated at 07:50 ET Share this pageEmail Print Share this page

Spanish economy: Who is to blame for its problems?

By Laurence Knight
Once again, markets are becoming nervous about lending to a eurozone government. This time it's Spain's turn.

The interest rate demanded by markets from the Spanish government to lend it money for 10 years has risen well above 6% - not far short of the 7%-8% level that prompted Greece, the Irish Republic and Portugal to go cap in hand to Brussels for a bailout.

In comparison, the German government only has to pay an interest rate of 1.42% - which, by the way, is the cheapest cost of borrowing that Berlin has ever faced.

What the markets are saying is that they are afraid Spain may ultimately go the same way as Greece, and prove unable to repay its debts, so they are moving their money to the safety of German bonds.

Meanwhile, Spain's banks are also in trouble. A rumour - denied by the Spanish finance ministry - circulated on Thursday that nervous depositors had withdrawn a billion euros of cash from their accounts at Bankia, a bank that was created out of the merger-cum-rescue of seven small regional savings banks in 2010.

Fears are rife of a vicious circle. If more cash leaves the Spanish banking system, the banks may not have the money needed to keep lending to the government.

Spaniards might be all the more minded to transfer their money to the safety of a German bank account if they witness a traumatic exit of Greece from the eurozone - something likely to involve the freezing and forced conversion of ordinary Greeks' savings into severely devalued drachmas.

On the other hand, if the Spanish banks get into trouble then the government in Madrid may not have enough money to bail them all out.

Property bubble
But the problems faced by Spain's government and its banks are just symptoms. The real issue is the mess that is Spain's economy.

Believe it or not, before 2008 Spain's government was one of the least spendthrift in the eurozone - unlike Greece. Or Germany.

The Spanish government's debts were a mere 36% of its gross domestic product (GDP) (the output of its economy) in 2007, while the German government's were 65%.

What's more, Madrid was in the process of paying its debts off - it earned more in tax revenues than its total spending. In contrast, Berlin regularly broke the maximum annual borrowing level laid down in the Maastricht Treaty of 3% of GDP.

Evidently, this crisis has nothing to do with the recklessness of Spain's government.

Instead, it was other people in Spain who behaved recklessly.

Interest rates fell to historic lows when the euro was launched in 1999. So Spain's banks, property developers and ordinary home-buyers collectively borrowed and fuelled an enormous property bubble.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 19, 2012, 09:19:53 pm
UPDATE 2-Banks' rising bad loans add to Spanish troubles
18 May 2012, by Julien Toyer and Jesús Aguado - Madrid (Reuters)

* Spanish banks' bad loans rise to 8.37%, 18-year high

* Spain to name independent auditors for financial sector

* Goldman to carry out valuation of Bankia-sources

* Moody's downgrades 16 Spanish banks

* Shares rebound to trim losses in grim week

Spanish bank bad loans rose in March to their highest in 18 years, figures from the Bank of Spain showed on Friday, underscoring the problems facing the government as it attempts to clean up the sector and get its economy back on track.

The Bank of Spain said bad loans rose to 8.37% of the banks' outstanding loans, the highest since August 1994 and up from 8.3% in February, which was also revised higher.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 23, 2012, 10:31:05 pm
Spain to inject 9 bln euros into Bankia: reports
23 May 2012, by Sara Sjolin - New York (MarketWatch)

The Spanish government will inject at least €9 billion ($11.3 billion) into Bankia SA to recapitalize the ailing bank, Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Wednesday, according to media reports.

The government will provide funds to cover the bank's provisioning needs, as the bank otherwise is unable to comply with two banking reforms presented this year, the finance minister said.

The question was weather the capital would be injected into the public Bankia or unlisted parent company Banco Financiero y de Ahorros SA, which holds the company's most toxic real-estate assets.

The government funds will, according to a Wall Street Journal report, be provided to BFA, which means Bankia shareholders won't see their investments diluted.

Bankia is the third-largest bank in Spain by assets and controls about 10% of the country's loans and deposits.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 24, 2012, 11:51:15 am
Spain 'Discovers' €28 Billion In Debt
23 May 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

Back in late March, we pointed out - much to the chagrin of the LTRO-funded Spanish-sovereign-debt-stuffing banks of the tapas-nation - that, in a similarly misleading manner to Greece's 'leverage' the debt-to-GDP data for Spain was significantly higher than official estimates.

Once sovereign guarantees, contingent liabilities and their responsibilities to the EU and the ECB were included things got a whole lot uglier.

Now, slowly but surely, as reported by Reuters this evening, some of these bilateral guarantees/loans are coming to light: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/23/us-spain-regions-idUSBRE84M1AU20120523

Instead of the expected €8 billion of 'regional refinancing' expected for 2012, it turns out there is €36 billion and as Reuters notes:

"the difference is due to bilateral loans from Spanish banks to the regions worth €28 billion that were not made public previously" adding that

"It could unnerve further investors concerned by the capacity of Spain to curb its public finances and reform its banking sector."

Critically this stunning 'discovery' should be worrisome since the plan, given the regions are virtually blocked from public market financing - due to the high cost of funds, was/is for the sovereign to guarantee (there's that word again) their issuance explicitly.

Ironically, as de Guindos and Hollande are chummy borrow-and-spendaholic growth-seekers versus Merkel's safe-and-austere determination, so now the Spanish authorities must lend exuberantly to their regions while at the same time demanding deficit targets are met (or else?) - or as one Reuters' source objects:

"You can't tell them on one side that they have to be austere and on the other side give them unlimited liquidity".

Irony indeed.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 24, 2012, 10:15:56 pm
As Bankia Bailout Costs Grow Exponentially, Is A Stealth Bank Run Taking Place... And What Happens To Ronaldo?
24 May 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

Bankia SA will have to ask the Spanish government for more than €15 billion as part of its effort to restore its financial health, state-owned news agency EFE reported Thursday, citing financial sources, Dow Jones, May 24 http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120524-714439.html

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 25, 2012, 09:03:31 am


Morning business round-up: Spain's Bankia shares suspended

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

The main event in Europe on Friday was the news that trading in shares in Spanish bank Bankia was suspended in Madrid.

It asked for them to be suspended ahead of a board meeting later on Friday to reformulate its accounts for 2011 and submit a plan to shore up its finances.

The bank is reported to be due to ask the government for a bailout of more than 15bn euros ($19bn; £12bn).

Bankia, which is Spain's fourth-largest bank, was part-nationalised two weeks ago because of its problems with bad property debt.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 25, 2012, 11:07:39 pm
Spain to bail out Bankia with 19 billion euros
25 May 2012, by Sara Sjolin and Barbara Kollmeyer - New York (MarketWatch)

Spain’s government is ready to inject €19 billion ($24 billion) into ailing lender Bankia, the bank said Friday, in what would be the largest bank bailout in the nation’s history.

The board of the troubled Spanish bank said in a statement that it was seeking government help as part of a recapitalization plan.

The €19 billion figure already has been approved by the government, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bankia shares were suspended Friday ahead of the announcement. Shares have lost 11% this week and nearly 60% of their value for the year to date.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 09:14:08 am
S&P downgrades Bankia, Banco Popular to junk
25 May 2012, by Sara Sjolin - New York (MarketWatch)

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday cut several Spanish banks to junk status, citing concerns about the country's economy and current risks in the banking sector.

Bankia SA, and Banco Popular Espanol SA were downgraded to BB+ from BBB-.

"We believe that the Spanish government would likely provide short-term support to back any potential capital shortfall at these two institutions if necessary," the ratings agency said in a statement.

S&P also cut Bankinter SA to junk status and said the outlook for Banco Santander SA and BBVA SA are negative.

The ratings actions follow a "review of the wider implications for economic and industry risks in the Spanish banking sector after our two-notch downgrade of the Kingdom of Spain on April 26," the agency said.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 09:17:31 am
Spanish bond yields rise on Catalonia money woes
25 May 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

The yield on Spain's 10-year government bonds shot higher on Friday after the president of one of the country's autonomous regions reportedly said it would need help from the government to refinance debt this year.

Catalan President Artur Mas told a group of foreign reporters that Catalonia is running out of options.

"We don't care how they do it, but we need to make payments at the end of the month.

Your economy can't recover if you can't pay your bills," Mas reportedly said.

The yield on Spain's 10-year government bond jumped to 6.32%, up 14 basis points from Thursday, according to Tradeweb.

The market is also waiting on news from ailing lender Bankia SA, which is expected to announce how much money it needs for a bailout from the government after a board meeting.

The news is expected to come well after the close of European markets.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 26, 2012, 07:58:17 pm

Spain region, Greek exit warnings rattle euro zone


(Reuters) - Central banks and companies risk making a grave error if they do not brace for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, Belgium's foreign minister said on Friday, rattling markets already alarmed by Spain's deteriorating finances.

Greek elections are scheduled for June 17 and could hasten the country's departure from the currency club should a government intent on ripping up the country's bailout program result.

Contrasting findings of opinion polls on Friday showed the outcome is too tight to call.

Greece accounts for little more than 2 percent of the euro zone economy but could pose a profound contagion threat if it quit the currency area, throwing the spotlight on Portugal, Spain and even Italy.


Title: Why Crisis in Spain This Week Became More Important Than Greece
Post by: Charrington on May 27, 2012, 10:55:21 pm
Local debt is the big untold story of the Euro crisis and, if that was not apparent before, it became glaringly so when Catalonia’s President this week told the world his autonomous Catalan Government would struggle to meet its bills at the end of this month.

Looked at from afar it might be difficult to interpret what this “local” problem means for Europe and those countries dependent on European consumer markets – but we’re always talking about a Euro problem when in fact it is a thousand local crises too. Put in American terms Catalonia’s problems are probably best likened to a successful area in the USA, like Austin, Texas, asking for a bailout.

The capital of Catalonia is, of course, Barcelona and Barcelona has a global reputation for excellence that stretches back to its management of the 1992 Olympic games.

A succession of charismatic mayors has turned Barcelona into a poster for regional economic success. Barcelona has done pretty much everything that the text book says a regional economy should do. It did “clusters” – it has a very strong cluster of companies in global logistics, it maintained regional manufacturing and grew a strong service infrastructure, it has a strong creative economy, the ESADE business school has a global reputation for management education, it has a very strong, competitive culture. And it has the world’s best football club, which gives the city global exposure week in, week out. Catalonia accounts for a quarter of Spain’s GDP. It is a success story.

But local indebtedness in Europe should come as no great surprise either. Germany and France bother have large local debt problems that are anything but transparent. In fact in the case of France much of the local debt was inherited from the central Government, which “delegated” the debt to localities where national funds were spent, effectively reducing the national debt headline figure. French finance Minister during this process was Christine Lagarde, now head of the IMF.

In April last year the Economist also warned of all the mini-Greeces in Germany:

    Germany’s 11,000-odd municipalities had a deficit of €7.7 billion last year, the second-highest ever…. in NRW( North Rhein Westphalia) local social spending rose by 274% between 1980 and 2006, whereas revenue went up only by 104%.

Local debt refinancing in Spain this year, though, is Euro 36 billion with Euro 13.5 billion of that falling to Catalonia. The reality is that, at this local level in Catalonia, the failure to refinance debt will lead to real wealth destruction and impair Spain’s prospects for years to come. When a success story like Catalonia hits the skids like this, you know the problem runs deep, very deep, but Catalonia also symbolizes something about Europe right now. It is not just a financial crisis but an existential one.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 28, 2012, 10:20:38 am


Spain Borrowing Costs Hit New High

MADRID—Concerns about Spain's ability to overhaul an ailing banking system while it tries to shore up its financially shaky regions and plug a gaping budget deficit sent Spanish borrowing costs to a record high Monday, prompting a new call from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for the European Union to take action to calm market turmoil.

"We need clear statements in defense of the euro and of the sustainability of euro-zone debt," Mr. Rajoy said in a news conference. Spain's 10-year government bond yield rose 0.18 percentage point to 6.47% Monday, a new 2012 high, after Spain announced a €19 billion ...

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 29, 2012, 07:07:41 pm
Spain Runs Out Of Money To Feed The Zombies http://www.zerohedge.com/news/spain-runs-out-money-feed-zombies

Bankia Parent Revises 2011 “Profit” Of €41 Million to €3.3 Billion Loss http://www.zerohedge.com/news/bankia-parent-revises-2011-profit-%E2%82%AC41-million-%E2%82%AC33-billion-loss

Overnight Sentiment: Europe Is Open, Bankia Is Plunging And Spanish Bond Yields Are Soaring http://www.zerohedge.com/news/overnight-sentiment-europe-open-bankia-plunging-and-spanish-bond-yields-are-soaring

Spain-AAA Spread Just Broke 450 bps: LCH Margin Hike Alert http://www.zerohedge.com/news/spain-bund-spread-just-broke-450-bps

EUR Shorts Hit New Record http://www.zerohedge.com/news/eur-shorts-hit-new-record-0

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 08:28:14 am
ECB rejects Spain’s Bankia recap plan: FT
29 May 2012, by Wallace Witkowski - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Spain will have to come up with another plan to recapitalize Bankia SA after the European Central Bank reportedly torpedoed a proposal to use government debt.

The ECB said Spain’s plan to use €19 billion ($24 billion) in sovereign bonds to recapitalize the bank was in danger of violating a ban forbidding the central bank to finance governments, the Financial Times reported in its online edition late Tuesday, citing European officials.

Spain nationalized Bankia, its third-largest bank, in early May.

Under a proposal, Spain planned sink billions of euros in its bonds into the ailing bank with an eye to swapping them out for cash at the ECB’s three-month refinancing window.

Such a plan would have allowed the country to sidestep having to raise the money in the bond markets.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 09:40:00 am
Egan Jones Cuts Spain Again: From BB- To B, Outlook Negative
29 May 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

The little rating agency (or is that former, now that it is public knowledge that Egan-Jones missed a comma in their NRSRO application?) that just refuses to go away, has done it again, and downgraded Spain from BB- to B (negative outlook of course), and on the edge of the dreaded triple hooks, mere days after it cut it from BB+ to BB-.


Spain contnues to be weakened by the government deficit of 9.6% (based on the first quarter results), an estimated decline in GDP of 1.7% (per the Economy Ministry), the 24.4% unemployment,

the IIF's recent estimate of additional bank loan losses up to €260 billion, and possible depositor withdrawals.

(Over the past three fiscal years, that is from 2008 to 2010, Spain's GDP declined from €1.09 trillion to €1.07 trillion.)

Meanwhile, its debt mushroomed from €381 billion to €563 billion.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 10:30:58 am
Spain rattles markets, Greeks warned of catastrophe


MADRID/ATHENS (Reuters) - Spain's borrowing costs lurched higher and the Madrid stock market hit a nine-year low on Wednesday as investors rattled by deepening fears about its banking system fled to the relative haven of German bonds.

Spain's banking woes - the result of a burst property bubble aggravated by recession - have combined with growing uncertainty about Greece's survival in the euro zone to reignite Europe's sovereign debt crisis, driving the euro to a two-year low of $1.2454. European shares also extended their fall after Italy paid heavily to sell bonds.

Madrid said it will probably tap credit markets to inject funds into nationalized lender Bankia, but that looks expensive with 10-year borrowing costs at 6.67 percent near their euro era peak and close to levels at which Ireland and Greece sought international bail-outs.

The Economy Ministry played down a Financial Times report that the European Central Bank had rejected an initial plan to rescue Bankia, Spain's fourth biggest bank, by stuffing it with government bonds that could be used as collateral to borrow from the ECB. [ID:nL5E8GU39O]

more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/spain-rattles-markets-greeks-warned-100300736.html?l=1

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 30, 2012, 03:59:43 pm


Euro falls to 22-month low on Spain downgrade

NEW YORK (AP) — The euro plunged to a fresh 22-month low Tuesday after a ratings agency downgraded Spain's debt.

The euro fell to $1.2487 late Tuesday from $1.2539 late Monday. The euro fell as low as $1.246 earlier, its lowest point against the dollar since July 2010.

Egan-Jones Ratings Company downgraded Spain saying that it may have trouble paying its debt as growth slows and rising unemployment rate. Spain has a 24.4 percent jobless rate and is battling its second recession in three years.

The downgrade came after more bad news for the country. On Tuesday, Spain said that retail sales fell 9.8 percent in April from a year ago. That's more than double the 3.8 percent drop in March.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 31, 2012, 03:40:21 pm

Spain faces 'total emergency' as fear grips markets

Spain is facing the gravest danger since the end of the Franco dictatorship as the country is frozen out of global capital markets and slides towards an epic showdown with Europe.


We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through” said ex-premier Felipe Gonzalez, the country’s elder statesman.
The warning came as the yields on Spanish 10-year bonds spiked to 6.7pc, pushing the “risk premium” over German Bunds to a post-euro high of 540 basis points. The IBEX index of stocks in Madrid fell 2.6pc, the lowest since the dotcom bust in 2003.

Chaos over the €23.5bn rescue of crippled lender Bankia has led to the abrupt resignation of central bank governor Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, who testified to the senate that he had been muzzled to avoid enflaming events as confidence in the country drains away.
Markets are on tenterhooks as Spanish yields test levels that forced the European Central Bank to respond last November with its €1 trillion liquidity blitz. “Nobody is short Spanish debt right now because they are expecting ECB intervention,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS. “If it doesn’t come -- if we take out 6.8pc -- we’re going to see a hyberbolic sell-off,” he said.


Title: Spain is currently in a state of 'total emergency'. - The Telegraph
Post by: Charrington on May 31, 2012, 09:37:46 pm
Spain is currently in a state of 'total emergency'. - The Telegraph

Spain is in a state of 'total emergency', the country’s former prime minister has warned, with Madrid facing punitive borrowing costs and the prospect of needing a Greek-style bail-out.

Felipe González, the country’s elder statesman, said: “We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through.”

Global financial markets lurched yesterday at the spectre of the eurozone’s fourth biggest economy being locked out of international capital markets and being unable to fund itself.

Spanish borrowing costs soared, while the Madrid stock market fell 2.6 per cent, the euro sank to a 22-month low against the dollar and the price of Brent crude dropped 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, global investors fled to “safe havens” sending UK bonds to another low. The FTSE 100, however, dropped 1.7 per cent, along with European and American stockmarkets.

The rout on global markets paused briefly around midday when the European Commission published a report calling for radical new support for “sinner states” across the eurozone.

[Related feature: What if Spain or Greece did leave the euro?]

The report said the eurozone should create a “bank union” under which all countries would stand behind stricken banks. The Commission’s top economic official also said he was “ready to consider” relaxing Spain’s deficit reduction targets.

However, stocks and bond markets lurched again when traders realised the ideas were just recommendations and were likely to be dismissed by Berlin anyway.

International confidence in Spain has drained since Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, announced plans for a €23.5 billion (£18.8 billion) rescue of Bankia, the country’s fourth biggest lender.

Economists have warned that Spain does not have the resources to rescue the bank and Brussels has refused to help. A raft of other Spanish banks are also struggling under toxic property loans. The European Central Bank said savers withdrew €31.44 billion from Spanish banks in April alone.

On Tuesday night, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, Spain’s central bank governor, resigned abruptly, before testifying to the senate that he had been muzzled to avoid inflaming events. Spanish tax revenues have collapsed, replicating the pattern in Greece. Fiscal revenues have fallen 4.8 per cent over the last year and VAT returns have slumped 14.6 per cent, while the cost of servicing debt has risen by 18 per cent.

Andrew Roberts, credit chief at Royal Bank of Scotland, said Spain was caught in a classic deflationary vice: a rising debt burden on a shrinking economic base. “Once you get into such a negative feedback loop, you can move beyond the point of no return quickly,” he said.

Yesterday Olli Rehn, the EU economic affairs commissioner, said he was “ready to consider” giving Madrid an extra year to cuts its budget deficit from 8.9 per cent to 3 per cent of GDP. However, Mr Rehn said Spain would first have to curb the spending of its regional governments and produce “solid” budget plans for the next two years.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 01, 2012, 01:27:57 am


Money flies out of Spain, regions pressured

(Reuters) - Spaniards alarmed by the dire state of their banks are squirreling money abroad at the fastest rate since records began, figures showed on Thursday, and the credit ratings of eight regions were cut.

Spain is the next country in the firing line of the euro zone's debt crisis, with spendthrift regions and shaky banks threatening to blow a hole in state finances and pushing funding costs towards levels that signal the need for a bailout.

The European Commission gave new help on Wednesday, offering direct aid from a euro zone rescue fund to recapitalize Spanish banks and more time for Madrid to reduce its budget deficit.

That helped lower the risk premium investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt rather than the German benchmark on Thursday, but it remained close to the euro-era record, at 520 basis points.

Bank of Spain data showed a net 66.2 billion euros ($82.0 billion) was sent abroad last month, the most since records began in 1990. The figure compares to a 5.4 billion net entry of funds during the same month one year ago.

Spaniards are worried about the health of their banks, hit by their exposure to a 2008 property crash, and have been sending money to deposit accounts in stronger economies of northern Europe.

The capital flight data predates the nationalization of Spain's fourth biggest lender Bankia (BKIA.MC) in May when it became clear the bank could not handle losses from bad real estate investments, compounded by a recession.

Spain's centre-right government has contracted independent auditors to assess the health of its financial system in an effort to restore faith in its banks.

Spain must lay out its restructuring plans for Bankia to the European Commission (EC), a spokesman for the EU executive arm said on Thursday. He added that a domestic solution to the country's bank crisis would be better than a European rescue.

The government said on Wednesday it would finance a 23.5 billion euro rescue of the bank through the bank fund, FROB but senior debt bankers said that the syndicated bond market is currently closed for Spanish agencies.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 01, 2012, 09:11:15 pm
Italy, Spain default insurance costs hit record
1 June 2012. by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The cost of insuring Spanish and Italian government debt against default via instruments known as credit default swaps, or CDS, hit new records on Friday, according to data provider Markit.

The spread on five-year Spanish CDS widened to 610 basis points from 596 basis points on Thursday.

That means it would now cost $610,000 annually to insure $10 million of Spanish debt against default for five years, up $14,000 from the previous day.

The spread on Italian CDS widened by 22 basis points to 579.

Core euro-zone countries also saw a rise, with the French CDS spread widening by 8 basis points to 225 and Germany widening by 4 basis points to 106, Markit said.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 02, 2012, 11:29:01 am
Euro Shorts Reach Record as Spain, Greece Concern Damp Demand
1 june 2012, by Catarina Saraiva (Bloomberg)


Futures traders boosted bets that the euro will depreciate against the dollar to a record high as concern increased that Spain’s banking crisis will worsen and Greece may exit the 17-nation currency union.

Hedge funds and other large speculators increased wagers on a euro drop for a fourth straight week in the five days ended May 29, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed today.

The surge came during a week in which Greece’s anti-bailout political party gained in the polls and as Spanish leaders debated how to recapitalize Bankia group.

“Positions are getting more extended,” said Brian Kim, a currency strategist in Stamford, Connecticut, at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.

“It’s not just because of the crisis, but also data getting weak and expectations that the ECB could ease in the second half of the year.”

The [color]difference[/color] in the number of wagers on a decline in the shared currency compared with those on a gain, known as net shorts, was 203,415, the most since the euro’s inception in 1999.

It was the third consecutive weekly record.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 04, 2012, 11:18:07 pm

G7 to hold emergency euro zone talks, Spain top concern


TORONTO/BERLIN (Reuters) - Finance chiefs of the Group of Seven leading industrialized powers will hold emergency talks on the euro zone debt crisis on Tuesday in a sign of heightened global alarm about strains in the 17-nation European currency area.
With Greece, Ireland and Portugal all under international bailout programs, financial markets are anxious about the risks from a seething Spanish banking crisis and a June 17 Greek election that may lead to Athens leaving the euro zone.
"Markets remain skeptical that the measures taken thus far are sufficient to secure the recovery in Europe and remove the risk that the crisis will deepen. So we obviously believe that more steps need to be taken," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said ministers and central bankers of the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, Germany, France and Italy would hold a special conference call, raising pressure on the Europeans to act.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 05, 2012, 09:58:48 am


Updated June 5, 2012, 10:49 a.m. ET.
Spain Warns Market Access Being Shut

MADRID—Spain's Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro on Tuesday urged euro-zone partners to act faster to help support its enfeebled banks, saying that the government has effectively lost access to capital markets because of steep risk premiums demanded by sovereign bond investors.

In making this dramatic admission, Mr. Montoro joined recent calls by the Spanish government for direct aid from European Union institutions for Spanish banks as the government hopes to avoid a full-blown bailout package.

The matter has gained urgency after Madrid was forced into a €19 billion ($23.75 billion) rescue of lender Bankia SA.

The government's borrowing costs have surged ...

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 06, 2012, 02:07:36 pm
Spanish industrial production sinks 8.2% in April
6 June 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Spanish industrial production dropped 8.2% in April on an annual basis, the national statistics office said Wednesday.

That comes after a fall of 7.5% in March.

Industrial production has been on the decline or flat for 14 months.

In May and August of 2011, production was unchanged.

The April fall was the biggest in more than a year.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 08, 2012, 10:01:14 am
Fitch cuts Spain credit rating to BBB
7 June 2012, by David B. Wilkerson - Chicago (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings on Thursday downgraded its long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings on Spain to BBB from A, with a negative outlook.

The BBB credit rating is just a notch higher than junk status.

The firm said Spain's "high level of foreign indebtedness has rendered it especially vulnerable to contagion from the ongoing crisis in Greece."

Fitch added that the nation's reduced financing flexibility hampers its ability to "intervene decisively in the restructuring of the banking sector and has increased the likelihood of external financial support."

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 09, 2012, 11:11:18 am

Spain could ask for bank bailout this weekend
By ALAN CLENDENNING and HAROLD HECKLE | Associated Press – 52 mins ago.

MADRID (AP) — Spain could ask for a rescue of its struggling banks this weekend when European finance ministers hold an emergency conference call Saturday to discuss the country's financial problems, a move that would make it the fourth member of the 17-nation eurozone to seek outside help since the continent's debt crisis erupted two years ago.

The ministers will discuss a potential rescue package for Spain as pressure mounted on the country to prop up the banks hurt by toxic assets after a property boom went bust.

A new report from the International Monetary Fund estimated Spanish banks need a recapitalization injection of at least €40 billion ($50 billion) following a stress test it performed on the country's financial sector. That report came out early Saturday, three days ahead of schedule, underscoring the urgency of the situation.

Spain, as of early Saturday afternoon, had not asked for help, "but we want to prepare if the call comes," said Guy Schuller, a spokesman for Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the meetings of eurozone finance ministers. Spanish officials neither confirmed nor denied a request for a bailout was imminent


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 09, 2012, 11:34:59 am

Eurozone eyes '100 bn euros' for Spain
By Aurelie Mayembo and Celine Loubette | AFP – 2 hrs 5 mins ago.

Eurozone finance ministers holding an emergency conference call on Saturday are eyeing "up to 100 billion euros" ($125 billion) in aid for Spain's distressed banks, a senior EU official told AFP.
A separate eurozone official said the teleconference of the finance ministers in the 17-nation Eurogroup had begun as planned at around 1400 GMT
In a departure from rescue plans already approved for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Spain was likely to get a deal focused on helping banks that are saddled with bad debt from the country's collapsed property sector.
In Madrid, a government source said officials would study a report by the International Monetary Fund on the banks and wait for the outcome of the ministers' conference call before commenting on any bailout request.
"There is a meeting that was called by Brussels. We are waiting to see the results and we are analysing the IMF report," the source said.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 09, 2012, 04:39:25 pm


Swedish PM: "Talk" Spain needs ?80B in rescue loan

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's prime minister says there is widespread European agreement that Spain needs to ask for outside help to try to prop up its ailing economy and that "there is talk" of a bailout package of up to €80 billion.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country is not part of the eurozone, spoke with national broadcaster Swedish Radio ahead of an emergency conference call between European finance ministers on Saturday.

He said the situation in the southern European country "is serious" and "that in reality we're talking about one of the greatest financial rescue operations the world has seen."

A report from the International Monetary Fund on Saturday estimated Spanish banks need a recapitalization injection of at least €40 billion ($50 billion), but Reinfeldt says "there's talk about up to €80 billion."

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 09, 2012, 08:07:53 pm

Europe bailout of Spain could cost $125 billion
By DANIEL WOOLLS and SARAH DiLORENZO | Associated Press – 2 hrs 2 mins ago.

MADRID (AP) — Spain became the fourth and largest country Saturday to ask Europe to rescue its failing banks, a bailout of up to €100 billion ($125 billion) that leaders hoped would stabilize a financial crisis that threatens to break apart the 17-country eurozone.

The rescue offer follows growing pressure from international investors and the Obama administration and comes a week before elections in Greece, whose voters could decide whether the country leaves the euro.

Europe's widening recession and financial crisis has hurt companies and investors around the world. Providing a financial lifeline to Spanish banks is likely to relieve anxiety on the Spanish economy — which is five times larger than Greece's — and on markets concerned about the country's ability to pay its way.

"What the markets are looking for is essentially the Spanish government's acceptance that its banks are broke," said Jacob Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos announced the deal after an emergency conference call with eurozone financial leaders. He said the aid will go to the banking sector only and would not come with new austerity conditions attached for the economy in general — conditions that have been an integral part of previous bailouts to Portugal, Ireland and Greece.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 10, 2012, 07:52:07 am

IMF, US praise 100 bn euro bank deal for Spain
By Katell Abiven | AFP – 5 hrs ago.

The IMF and US both praised a Eurogroup deal giving Spain a lifeline of up to €100 bn ($125 billion) to save its stricken banks, with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde calling it a "credible back stop" for the banking system.
"I strongly welcome the statement by the Eurogroup, which complements the measures taken by the Spanish authorities in recent weeks to strengthen the banking system," said Lagarde.
"Providing a credible back stop to recapitalize weaker segments of the banking system has been a key recommendation of the IMF's recent Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) conducted in Spain," she said.
Lagarde also had words of praise for the operation's scope.
"The willingness of Spain's Euro Area partners to financially support the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) with up to EUR 100 billion is a crucial step for the success of the Spanish authorities' strategy," she said.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 10, 2012, 12:33:57 pm
Bailout for Spain's banks buys time[life support] for Europe
By PAUL WISEMAN and PETER SVENSSON | Associated Press – 6/10/12

[] = emphasis mine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The plan to bail out Spain's banks with up to $125 billion in aid buys European policymakers time to try to save the euro and eases deep fears in global financial markets.

The deterioration of Spain's banks and the pressing need for a rescue was threatening to bankrupt its government. That would likely cause far more pain for Europe than the financial messes in Greece, Portugal and Ireland, smaller economies that have received bailouts.

Investors need all the reassurance they can get. They're already worried about what will happen when Greek voters go to the polls June 17. The Greeks could elect a government that will refuse to live up the terms of a $170 billion bailout. That could force the country to exit the euro — an outcome that would raise fears that another, bigger European country might be next.

"A significant part of this (bailout for Spanish banks) has to do with ring-fencing Greece," says Jacob Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "This is enough to prevent added market contagion."


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 10, 2012, 01:07:31 pm

Spain relieved, angry over humiliating bank rescue
By ALAN CLENDENNING | Associated Press – 1 hr 5 mins ago.

MADRID (AP) — Spain's grinding economic misery will get worse this year despite the country's request for a European financial lifeline of up to €100 billion ($125 billion) to save its banks, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Sunday.

A day after the country conceded it needed outside help following months of denying it would seek assistance, Rajoy said more Spaniards will lose their jobs in a country where one out of every four are already unemployed.

"This year is going to be a bad one," Rajoy said Sunday in his first comments about the rescue since it was announced the previous evening by his economy minister.

The conservative Prime Minister added that the economy, stuck in its second recession in three years, will still contract the previously predicted 1.7 percent even with the help. Small businesses and families starving for credit will eventually get relief as the funding props up banks and they increase lending, but Rajoy didn't offer guidance on when.

Spain on Saturday became the fourth — and largest — of the 17 countries that use Europe's common currency to request a bailout — a big blow to a nation that a few years ago took pride as the continent's economic superstar only to see it become the hot spot in the eurozone debt crisis. Its economy is the eurozone's fourth largest after Germany, France and Italy.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 11, 2012, 04:19:23 pm
Fitch downgrades pair of Spanish banks
11 June 2012, by William Spain - Chicago (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded Banco Santander's and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria's long-term issuer default ratings to BBB+ from A and viability ratings to bbb+ from a.

The outlooks on the long-term IDRs are negative.

The moves "are primarily based on the downgrade of the Spanish sovereign" and reflect concerns that "Spain is forecasted to remain in recession through the remainder of this year and 2013 compared to the previous expectation that the economy would benefit from a mild recovery in 2013," Fitch said

More Here: Fitch downgrades Spain's Santander, BBVA http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitch-downgrades-spains-santander-bbva-2012-06-11

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 01:31:40 pm
Fitch lowers rating on 18 more Spanish banks
12 June 2012, by Kristin Jones (MarketWatch)

Fitch Ratings lowered its rating on 18 more Spanish banks, following the downgrade of Spain's sovereign debt last week, on the expectation that the country will remain in recession through 2013.

The downgrades also reflected the ratings firm's concerns that the portfolio of certain banks could deteriorate further.

Banks whose loan books are heavily exposed to the construction and real-estate sectors, or have low equity bases, are particularly vulnerable, it said.

Fitch has carried out new stress tests, both on the Spanish banking sector as a whole and on an individual basis, that factor in Spain's deteriorating macroeconomic conditions.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 01:43:53 pm
Yields for Spanish, Italian bonds spike higher
12 June 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

The yield on Spain's 10-year bond yield spiked above 6.7% on Tuesday, taking out highs reached last November.

The yield shot up 28 basis points in late afternoon trading, to 6.81%, according to Tradeweb.

That is the highest level on record according to Tradeweb charts, which go back to 2008.

The yield on Italy's 10-year government bond jumped 23 basis points to 6.27%.

As bond yields spiked, European stocks turned lower across the board.

Yields for Spain have been under fresh pressure this week due to disappointment over the bailout plan for the nation's banks.

Italian yields have been moving in lockstep, with concerns as well that that government may need a bailout at some point.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 12, 2012, 02:54:00 pm


Market euphoria over Spanish bank bailout fizzles

Reuters) - Financial market euphoria over a European bailout for Spain's debt-stricken banks faded quickly on Monday as investors sounded the alarm over its impact on public debt and bondholders, and eyed the next risks in the euro zone's debt crisis.

EU and German officials said Spain faces supervision by international lenders after the deal to lend Madrid up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion), contradicting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who insisted the cash came without such strings.

European stocks leapt to a four-week high, with investors scooping up battered financial shares. But Spanish and Italian bond yields rose sharply as doubts set in about the impact and terms of the deal, designed to avert a run on Spanish banks.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 13, 2012, 07:55:44 pm
Moody's cuts Spain rating to Baa3
13 June 2012, by Wallace Witkowski - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Moody's Investors Service said late Wednesday it downgraded Spain's sovereign-debt rating to Baa3 from A3 and placed it on review for a possible further downgrade.

Moody's based the downgrade on Spain's plans to borrow up to 100 billion euros from the European Financial Stability Facility, its limited financial-market access and increasingly vulnerable economy.

Moody's said it will conclude its review to decide a further downgrade within three months.

The downgrade follows one earlier Wednesday from Egan-Jones, which lowered its rating on Spain to CCC+ from B.

On Wednesday, yields on Spain's 10-year note pushed past 6.75%.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 13, 2012, 07:57:00 pm
Egan-Jones downgrades Spain to CCC+
13 June 2012, by Wallace Witkowski - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Egan-Jones Ratings Co. downgraded its sovereign rating on Spain further into junk Wednesday as funding costs rise and the country's banking sector seeks financial aid.

Egan-Jones cut its rating on Spain to CCC+ from B, right on the heels of a downgrade from BB- in late May.

"As we expected, Spain requested support for its banking sector and will probably need cash for weaker provinces," the ratings agency said in a note.

"Assets of Spain's largest two banks exceed its GDP."

Yields on Spain's 10-year note hit 6.75% on Wednesday.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 09:46:31 am
Yield on Spain bond yield hits highest-ever 7%
14 June 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

The yield on Spain's 10-year government bond reached an all-time high of 7% on Thursday, with Tradeweb reflecting the yield at 7.01%, versus a close of 6.772% the prior day.

The move came in the wake of a three-notch Moody's Investors Service downgrade for Spain, which put its debt rating one notch above junk status.

Italy's yield was at 6.34% as the country prepared to auction medium- and long-term debt.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 10:01:58 am


Global crisis deepens after Spanish bailout

Rising interest rates in bond markets demonstrate that the €100 billion Spanish bailout last weekend has done nothing to resolve the euro zone crisis and may well have made it even worse. The rate on Spanish 10-year bonds climbed to the danger level of 6.8 percent Wednesday, while interest rates on Italian one-year government debt reached their highest levels since last December.
The latest turmoil came as the World Bank issued a report warning that so-called “emerging markets” face heightened risks from the European crisis. The World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report predicted that growth in developing countries would fall to 5.3 percent in 2012, down from 6.1 percent. The forecast for overall world growth was cut to 3 percent for 2013, down by 0.1 percent from the estimate in January.
The bank said that developing countries should prepare for a long period of volatility, warning that Eastern Europe and Central Asia were particularly vulnerable because of their trade and financial ties with the major European economies.
The director of economic prospects at the World Bank, Hans Timmer, said the volatility of financial markets made policy making difficult, adding that there was “no silver bullet” and that “you cannot solve problems over a weekend.”


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 10:04:33 am

Spain's debt hits record as euro zone crisis worsens

LONDON (Reuters) - Spain's 10-year bond yield climbed to a euro-era record of 7 percent on Wednesday as the storm surrounding Europe's debt crisis worsened, with fears over its impact on global growth sending world shares lower.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a more mixed start on Wall Street after weak retail sales data and the euro zone's problems had sent shares lower on Wednesday. <.N>
"The underlying problem of deteriorating confidence in sovereign debt in Europe is continuing to intensify," said Lee Hardman, currency economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
The rise in Spanish debt yields came as Germany, Europe's most powerful economy, rebuffed calls from other European leaders to help underwrite the region's debt or guarantee deposits in euro zone banks.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 11:34:20 am
Spanish Bank Borrowings From ECB Surpass Italian, As Italy Sovereign Debt Hits Record €1.95 Trillion
14 June 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


First, we observe the just released data showing Spanish bank borrowings from the ECB:

at €287.8 billion, this was a €24 billion increase from April, €235 billion from a year earlier, and the highest ever.

For the first time since June of 2011, Spanish bank ECB borrowings increased to more than those of Italy, which at just €272.7 billion rose a mere €2 billion from April month (to a new record as well).

In other words, both Italy and Spanish banks are now spurned by counterparties everywhere, but Spain's a little bit more than Italy's.

Yet before Italy gloats, it bears reminding Italy that its own offsetting factor, and where it is weakest,

its insane public debt, just hit a new record high of €1.95 trillion, pushing the country's debt to GDP ratio well into the 120%+ range.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 20, 2012, 05:53:39 pm
Moody's downgrades Telefonica over Spain crisis
20 June 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Shares of Telefonica SA fell 0.8% on Wednesday after Moody's Investors Service downgraded the telcommunications provider.

Moody's said the Spanish economic crisis will continue to weigh on consumer spending, and in turn, the telecommunications provider's domestic revenue.

The ratings firm cut Telefonica's long-term senior unsecured and issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa1, and cut ratings of its guaranteed subsidiaries as well.

Those ratings all remain on review for further downgrades.

Telefonica "does not have the domestic or financial strength, or sufficiently robust access to liquidity, to distance itself from the current and future credit environment implied by the sovereign's Baa3 rating," said Carlos Winzer, a Moody's senior vice president.

The ratings firm said it believes that the required strengthening of the company's financial ratios and challenging domestic and international operations will increase its overall business and financial risk.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 21, 2012, 06:26:46 pm
Spain to seek bank aid as borrowing costs soar



(Reuters) - Independent auditors said Spanish banks may need up to 62 billion euros in extra capital, to be filled mostly by a euro zone bailout, after Spain's medium-term borrowing costs spiraled to a euro-era record on Thursday.

Euro zone finance ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss how to channel up to 100 billion euros ($126 billion) in aid to Spanish lenders weighed down by bad debts from a burst property bubble. Madrid's economy minister said a formal request would be made in days for the bailout, which was agreed two weeks ago.

Many in the markets see the package as a mere prelude to a full program for the Spanish state, which Madrid vehemently denies it will need.

Spain's financial plight took centre stage a week before a European Union summit tackles long-term plans for closer fiscal and banking union in a bid to strengthen the euro's foundations, after bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal failed to end a 2-1/2-year old debt crisis.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 25, 2012, 07:30:11 pm

Moody's Downgrades 28 Spanish Banks


Spain formally requested a European bank rescue on Monday but lack of details kept investors fretting and Moody's cut the ratings of most Spanish lenders, citing the government's reduced ability to support them and the likelihood of higher property losses.

In a letter to Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker sent early on Monday, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said he wanted to take up the EU offer of up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) and hoped to finalise the package by July 9.

He did not specify how much money Spain will seek to recapitalise the indebted lenders and said the final amount and conditions of the assistance were still under discussion.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 09, 2012, 09:42:50 am
Spain borrowing rate hits bailout danger zone


MADRID (AP) — Spain's borrowing costs rose to dangerously high levels Monday as finance ministers of the 17 countries that use the euro began to gather in Brussels to discuss terms of a rescue package for the country's stricken banks.

The interest rate, or yield, on the country's 10-year bonds hit 7 percent Monday morning, a level that market-watchers consider is unaffordable for a country to raise money on the bond markets in the long term and the point at which Greece, Ireland and Portugal all sought an international bailout. Stocks on Madrid's benchmark index fell 1.7 percent. The yield later fell back down to 6.99 percent.

The yield indicates the interest rate a government would have to pay to raise money from financial markets when it holds bond auctions. While Spain can afford the high rates for a few weeks at least, it would find them too expensive in the longer term.

more: http://news.yahoo.com/spain-borrowing-rate-hits-bailout-danger-zone-083607487--finance.html

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 11, 2012, 10:50:53 am

Spain Deepens Austerity Under European Pressure


Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a swathe of new taxes and spending cuts on Wednesday designed to slash 65 billion euros from the budget deficit by 2014 as recession-plagued Spain struggles to meet tough targets agreed with Europe.

Rajoy, of the center-right People's Party, proposed a 3-point hike in the main rate of Value Added Tax on goods and services to 21 percent, and outlined cuts in unemployment  benefit and civil service pay and perks in a parliamentary speech interrupted by jeers and boos from the opposition.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 11, 2012, 07:33:09 pm

Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof


Dozens hurt as police, anti-austerity protesters clash in Spain

From Al Goodman, CNN
updated 3:52 PM EDT, Wed July 11, 2012

Madrid (CNN) -- More than 70 people were injured in clashes in Madrid on Wednesday as Spanish police used rubber bullets and batons to disperse anti-austerity protesters, witnesses and emergency workers said.
Protesters, including a group of miners who have marched on the capital, are demonstrating against Spain's government and the cuts it is imposing as it seeks to curb the country's debt crisis.
Hundreds of people quickly moved out of the area as police moved in, with witnesses reporting the use of rubber bullets and batons by officers.
Madrid's ambulance service said 76 people were injured in clashes at or near the Industry Ministry.


Title: 12 Signs That Spain Is Shifting Gears From Recession To Depression
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 25, 2012, 01:12:40 pm

#1 At one point on Monday, the IBEX stock market index fell to 5,905, which was the lowest level in nearly ten years.  When it hit 5,905 that represented a drop of about 12 percent over just two trading days.  If that happened in the United States, it would be the equivalent of the Dow falling by about 1500 points in 48 hours.

#2 So far this year, the Spanish stock market is down more than 25 percent.  Back in 2008, the IBEX 35 was well over 15,000.  Today it is sitting just above 6,000.

#3 Spain has banned many forms of short selling for 3 months.

#4 The yield on 10 year Spanish bonds is now well above the 7 percent "danger level".

#5 Thanks to the problems in Spain, the euro continues to fall like a rock.  On Monday it hit a new two year low against the U.S. dollar, and it is near a twelve year low against the Japanese yen.

#6 During the first quarter of 2012, the Spanish economy contracted by 0.3 percent.  During the second quarter of 2012, the Spanish economy contracted by 0.4 percent.

#7 Local governments all over Spain are flat broke and need to be bailed out by the broke national government.  The following is from a recent CNBC article....

Adding to Madrid's woes, media reports suggested another half a dozen of Spain's 17 regional authorities, facing an undeclared funding crisis, were ready to follow Valencia in seeking aid from the central government.
#8 The percentage of bad loans on the books of Spanish banks has reached an 18 year high.  European officials have already promised a 100 billion euro bailout for Spain's troubled banking system, but most analysts agree that 100 billion euros will not be nearly enough.

#9 Spanish industrial output declined for the ninth month in a row in May.

#10 The unemployment rate in Spain is up to an astounding 24.6 percent.  The unemployment rate in Spain is already higher than it was in the United States at the peak of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

#11 The youth unemployment rate in Spain is now over 52 percent.

#12 The Spanish government has just announced a whole bunch of new tax increases and spending cuts which will cause the Spanish economy to slow down even more.  In response to these austerity measures, people are taking to the streets all over Spain.  Last week, 100,000 demonstrators poured into the streets to protest in Madrid alone.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 03, 2012, 06:43:43 pm


Spain, Italy reject bailout; Draghi says euro 'irreversible'

Spain and Italy rejected Thursday the need for a bailout after markets fell sharply on disappointment that the European Central Bank did not announce new immediate steps to tame the eurozone debt crisis.
ECB head Mario Draghi insisted earlier that the embattled single currency was "irreversible," damning speculative financial market bets against the euro for pushing up government borrowing costs to unsustainable levels.
But in the absence of concrete measures, the markets returned to the attack, with Spanish borrowing costs spiking back to danger levels above 7.0 percent and Madrid stocks slumping more than 5.0 percent as Italy was also hit badly.
United in adversity, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told a joint news conference in Madrid with his Italian counterpart Mario Monti that their "two countries want to work together" to get through the debilitating crisis.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 25, 2012, 10:43:34 am
Mayor in Spain leads food raids for the people



In the small Spanish town of Marinaleda, located in the southern region of Andalusía, Mayor Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo has an answer for the country’s economic crisis and the hunger that comes with it: He organized and led the town’s residents to raid supermarkets to get the food necessary to survive.
Seven people have been arrested in two raids in which trade unionists loaded shopping carts full of food and left without paying, with the support of the townspeople cheering them on and the mayor watching with approval. (reuters.com, Aug. 15)
Gordillo, 60, is a leftist and a member of the Izquierda Unida political party. He sports a Palestinian kaffiyeh scarf around his neck and a Fidel Castro-like beard. Gordilla says he wants to draw attention to the plight of the common worker in Spain, a country in which the economic collapse has hit particularly hard and millions are suffering. (europeonline-magazine.eu, Aug. 14)
Since 2007, poverty in Spain has risen 15 percent, while unemployment hovers around 25 percent and tens of thousands have lost their homes to bank foreclosures. The conservative national government has only made matters worse, by introducing austerity measures that have worsened the workers’ lives, while bailing out the bankers and capitalists who caused the crisis in the first place.
Gordillo plans to lead a march from Jódar, one of the cities most affected by the current economic meltdown, to other Spanish towns, to try to convince other officials to fight back against the ruling class’s demands of cutbacks and increased hardship for the workers. He is fighting dismantlement of state social services, bank payoffs, and the throwing of the common Spaniard under the bus to the benefit of those exploiting them. Gordillo hopes he can convince other mayors to stage a real resistance to the government’s demands.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 25, 2012, 10:46:01 am
It seems like this "social justice" nonsense has infiltrated almost every aspect of our society...and yes, that includes our "churches"...but what does scripture has to say about this?

Jas 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Jas 5:2  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Jas 5:3  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Jas 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Jas 5:5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
Jas 5:9  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Jas 5:10  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 04, 2012, 12:11:17 pm


It is, Julio Vildosola concedes, a very big bet.

After working six years as a senior executive for a multinational payroll-processing company in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Vildosola is cutting his professional and financial ties with his troubled homeland. He has moved his family to a village near Cambridge, England, where he will take the reins at a small software company, and he has transferred his savings from Spanish banks to British banks.

“The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse,” Mr. Vildosola, 38, said last week just hours before boarding a plane to London with his wife and two small children. “There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don’t want to end up holding devalued pesetas.”

Mr. Vildosola is among many who worry that Spain’s economic tailspin could eventually force the country’s withdrawal from the euro and a return to its former currency, the peseta. That dire outcome is still considered a long shot, even if Spain might eventually require a Greek-style bailout. But there is no doubt that many of those in a position to do so are taking their money — and in some cases themselves — out of Spain.

In July, Spaniards withdrew a record 75 billion euros, or $94 billion, from their banks — an amount equal to 7 percent of the country’s overall economic output — as doubts grew about the durability of Spain’s financial system.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 14, 2012, 06:33:25 pm

Spain inches closer to asking for help as euro ministers hint at giving Greece more time

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Spain revealed Friday that it will present a new set of economic reforms by the end of the month, in a move that raises hopes that the struggling country will soon ask for financial help.

The economic reform plan, discussed at a meeting in Cyprus of finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro, will be unveiled by Sept. 27. It is expected to be the launch-pad to Spain's tapping of a new European Central Bank bond-buying plan.

Meanwhile, Greece's creditors indicated that it may get more time, but not money, to get public finances into shape.

The two countries topped the agenda of the first day of an informal meeting of European finance ministers in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, which is being held following a run of positive news in Europe's three-year debt crisis.

The ministers, as well as ECB president Mario Draghi and Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, cautiously acknowledged that conditions have recently improved. The ECB bond-buying plan, the creation of a new government in Greece following two elections and a German court ruling in favour of Europe's new bailout fund have all calmed markets and politicians nervous at the eurozone's debt problems.

However they acknowledged that hurdles still need to be cleared if the euro currency is going to emerge intact from the crisis.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 14, 2012, 06:39:29 pm


Spain's government debt hits 75.9 pct of its GDP

MADRID (AP) — Spanish government debt rose to 75.9 percent of its economy in the second quarter of the year according to figures published by the Bank of Spain.

The figure is up 9.2 percent year-on-year and is the highest ratio in at least 22 years. The total debt ascended to €804 billion ($1.0 trillion), up €99 billion year-on-year, Spain's central bank said in a statement Friday.

Central government spending increased by 4.4 percent to €617 billion, representing 58.3 percent of GDP.

Regional government spending grew by 2.8 percent to €151 billion, equivalent to 14.2 percent of GDP, also the highest level in at least 22 years.

The most indebted region in the second quarter was Catalonia with €44 billion followed by Valencia.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2012, 08:36:34 am


Panic Cash Withdrawals In Spain Drain Banks; Greece-Style Economic Implosion Now Imminent

Monday, September 24, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Spain appears poised to become the next Greece in the ongoing European Union (EU) implosion, as Spaniards are withdrawing record amounts of funds from Spanish banks to avoid a potential insolvency situation. According to the New York Times (NYT), the equivalent of $94 billion was withdrawn from Spanish banks in July, an amount that equals seven percent of the country’s overall economic output.
Though stronger overall compared to Greece in terms of economic diversity and debt levels, Spain is undeniably on a downward economic spiral that is sending many of its people and their money to other countries like England, Germany, and Singapore, where economic conditions are much more favorable. Just like in Greece, there is a growing fear among Spaniards that their nation could revert from the euro to its former currency, pesetas, which would greatly devalue their personal wealth.
“The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse,” said Julio Vildosola to the NYT. Vildosola, a former senior executive at a large multinational company, recently moved all his money — and is now in the process of moving his entire family — to a small village near Cambridge, England. “There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don’t want to end up holding devalued pesetas.”
Spaniards pulling out their cash en masse
Vildosola’s opinion is shared by many others in Spain who are also moving their funds and families elsewhere in anticipation of an eventual collapse. Despite all the empty promises being made by EU officials, including a commitment to inject 100 billion euros into the Spanish banking system, the Spanish people, including many from the country’s upper echelons, have lost faith in their country’s ability to stay afloat in the long term.
“The wealthy people have already taken their money out,” says Spanish economist Jose Garcia Montalvo about the ongoing capital flight. “Now it’s the professionals and mid-range people who are moving their money to Germany and London. The mood is very, very bad.”
During the recent festival of “Diada de Catalunya,” or Day of Catalonia, which celebrates the end of the siege on Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession, an estimated 1.5 million people took to the streets to demand that Catalonia, a wealthy region of Spain that includes the city of Barcelona, secede from the country and form its own independent state. (http://latino.foxnews.com)
The European Central Bank recently announced that it will buy short-term bonds from member states that agree to abide by certain rules and conditions when applying for assistance (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com). But Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has announced his rejection of these conditions, though he has yet to indicate whether or not his country will still request a bailout. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19553002)
Sources for this article include:
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/037298_Spain_bank_runs_economic_collapse.html#ixzz27R7Zhhpu

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 26, 2012, 01:02:01 pm


Markets Tumble on Unrest in Greece and Spain

LONDON — Clear signs of the political and social cost of the euro zone crisis sent stock markets tumbling Wednesday as debt-laden Greece faced a crippling 24-hour strike and Spain cleaned up after violent protests Tuesday near the country’s Parliament.

Spanish bond yields approached 6 percent for the first time in months, while European stocks and the euro fell sharply, as developments in Greece and Spain sent a new wave of anxiety through the ranks of international investors.

The Euro Stoxx 50, a measure of euro zone blue chips, closed 2.7 percent lower on Wednesday. National benchmarks were also down, led by the Ibex in Spain, which fell 3.9 percent, and the MIB in Milan, down 3.3 percent.

The euro was at $1.2863, down from $1.2950 late Tuesday in New York.

Spanish bond yields had fallen back from levels thought unsustainable after the European Central Bank announced a plan Sept. 6 to buy the sovereign bonds of debt-strapped euro countries, like Spain and Italy, in amounts sufficient to bring the cost of servicing their debt down to a manageable level.

The renewed spike in borrowing costs indicates that the E.C.B.’s pledge is losing its power to calm markets, at least in the case of Spain. Higher borrowing costs also put pressure on the Spanish government at a time when it is hoping to avoid a full-scale bailout.

The gap between the rates Spain and Italy must pay is growing, with Spain’s borrowing costs rising amid new challenges from disgruntled regional authorities and continuing uncertainty over the central government’s intentions concerning a possible bailout.

Spain’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield rose 30.1 basis points to 5.988 percent late Wednesday, while Italian 10-years rose 10.4 basis points to 5.181 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent.

Italy’s short-term borrowing costs fell Wednesday at an auction of debt. The Italian Treasury sold 9 billion euros, or $11.6 billion, of 6-month debt priced to yield 1.503 percent. That was down from the 1.585 percent it paid to move debt at the last such auction, and was the lowest it has paid for debt of that maturity since March.

Leaders in Greece and Spain are confronting difficult decisions on spending cuts designed to satisfy either international lenders, or the bond markets, and events in the two nations highlighted the growing European backlash against the politics of austerity.

In Greece, where political leaders are seeking to negotiate a new round of cuts to placate their creditors, protesters clashed with riot police in the first big anti-austerity strike since a new coalition government took power in June.

Several thousand people had converged on the Spanish Parliament on Tuesday, where clashes followed with more than 1,000 riot police. Police baton-charged protesters and some demonstrators broke down barricades and threw rocks and bottles.

The results of an independent assessment on the crisis in the country’s financial system are due to be released this week, along with next year’s budget and plans for new structural reforms.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said he is considering whether to seek a new rescue package for his troubled country to lower borrowing costs, but only if they stay too high for too long. He has already secured a promise of up to 100 billion euros to salvage the nation’s sickly banks.

Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said the turmoil in Greece and Spain had added to bearish market sentiment that carried over from comments Tuesday in the United States by Charles I. Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Mr. Plosser said the Fed‘s latest effort to bolster the economy by buying bonds would probably be ineffective and said the central bank could risk its credibility.

“We have budget discussions in Spain, the troika decision in Greece and demonstrations in both places,” Mr. Gijsels said, referring to the trio of international lenders, known as the troika, that are negotiating aid to Greece. “That’s not helping things.”

“I would compare the current situation to August 2010, though,” he added, when the world economy was slowing and there were worries about recession and deflation. “This time all the major central banks are pumping money into the system, but back then it was only the Fed.”

That liquidity, Mr. Gijsels said, has to go somewhere, and if the real economy is moribund, it is likely go into the financial markets, bidding up prices for financial assets.

As a result, he said, he did not expect the current wave of selling to be sustained.

David Jolly reported from Paris.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 27, 2012, 11:31:19 am


(Reuters) - Violent protests in Madrid and growing talk of secession in Catalonia are piling pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he moves closer to asking Europe for rescue money.

In public, Rajoy has been resisting calls from bankers at home and the leaders of France and Italy to move quickly to request assistance, but behind the scenes he is putting together the pieces to meet the stringent conditions for aid.

With protesters stepping up anti-austerity demonstrations, Rajoy presents painful economic reforms and a tough 2013 budget on Thursday, aiming to persuade euro zone partners and investors that Spain is doing its deficit-cutting homework despite a recession and 25 percent unemployment.

Figures released on Tuesday suggested Spain will miss its public deficit target of 6.3 percent of gross domestic product this year, and on Wednesday the central bank said the economy continued to contract sharply in the third quarter.

By pre-empting reforms demanded by Brussels -- such as creating an independent fiscal auditor -- Rajoy hopes to sell them to voters as home-grown rather than imposed from outside.

Diplomats reported intense last-minute pressure on Madrid on Wednesday from key euro zone policymakers to take tougher measures, notably on freezing pensions.

On Friday, Moody's will publish its latest review of Spain's credit rating, possibly downgrading the country's debt to junk status.

On the same day, an independent audit of Spain's banks will reveal how much money Madrid will need from a 100 billion euro ($130 billion) aid package that Europe has already approved for the banks.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 29, 2012, 11:01:00 am

Spain bank audit paves way for state bailout


MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish banks will need a total of 59.3 billion euros ($76.3 billion) in extra capital to ride out a serious economic downturn, an independent report said on Friday, removing a major obstacle in the way of an international bailout for Madrid.
Spain said around 40 billion euros of the total will come as European aid while the rest could be raised by the banks themselves.
The audit, carried out by consultant Oliver Wyman, is a condition of getting European funds to patch up Spanish banks damaged by a prolonged real estate crash, and identifies which banks need more capital and precisely how much each requires.
Spain has agreed a credit line that could provide up to 100 billion euros in European Union rescue funds for its banks.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 29, 2012, 06:18:31 pm

Spain, Portugal hit with anti-austerity protests


MADRID (AP) — Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese rallied in the streets of their countries' capitals Saturday to protest enduring deep economic pain from austerity cuts.

In Madrid, demonstrators approached parliament for the third time this week to vent their anger against tax hikes, government spending cuts and the highest unemployment rate among the 17 nations that use the euro currency.

The boisterous crowds in the Spanish capital let off ear-splitting whistles near parliament and yelled "Fire them, fire them!" — referring to the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

On Friday, Rajoy's administration presented a 2013 draft budget that will cut overall spending by €40 billion ($51.7 billion), freezing the salaries of public workers, cutting spending for unemployment benefits and even reducing spending for Spain's royal family next year by 4 percent.

Pablo Rodriguez, a 24-year-old student doing a master's in agricultural development in Denmark, said the austerity measures and bad economy mean most of his friends in Spain are unemployed or doing work they didn't train for.

He doubts he will put his education to use in Spain until he is 35 or 40, if ever, will probably get job abroad and stay.

"I would love to work here, but there is nothing for me here," Rodriguez said. "By the time the economy improves it will be too late. I will be settled somewhere else with a family. One of the disasters in Spain is they spent so much to educate me and so many others and they will lose us."

In Lisbon, retired banker Antonio Trinidade said the budget cuts Portugal is locked into in return for the nation's €78 billion ($101 billion) bailout are making the country's economy the worst he has seen in his lifetime. His pension has been cut, and he said countless young Portuguese are increasingly heading abroad because they can't make a living at home.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2012, 02:25:02 pm

Spain Popular approves capital hike of up to 2.5 billion euros: source


MADRID (Reuters) - The board of Spain's Banco Popular has approved a capital increase of up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion), a source close to the process said on Sunday.
The bank's directors also agreed that Popular would remain independent rather than searching for a partner, the source said.
Popular declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7773 euros) (Reporting and editing By Jesus Aguado, Writing by Paul Day)

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2012, 02:27:09 pm


Spain's debt to rise to 90.5% of GDP in 2013

MADRID (AP) — Spain's public debt will reach 90.5 percent of its gross domestic product in 2013 with its new austerity budget, according to government documents.

Spain also revised its debt ratio forecast for this year to 85.5 percent of GDP, up from 79.8 percent.

Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said Saturday that Spain's increased interest costs on its public financing are the main cause of the rise: "it is important to reduce this increase and its speed."

Montoro spoke after presenting the 2013 draft budget the government says will cut overall spending by euro40 billion ($51 billion). The budget reduces funds available for unemployment payments by 6.3 percent, and support for Spain's royal house by 4 percent.

Spain is mired in its second recession in recent years with one-in-four workers without a job.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 06, 2012, 07:37:31 pm


Thousands march to protest austerity cuts in Spain

MADRID (AP) — Several thousand people marched in downtown Madrid on Saturday to protest austerity measures they say will lead to cuts in cherished national health care and the privatization of public services.

Marching under banners reading "Neither cuts nor privatizations," many protesters were civil servants hit with a wage freeze next year.

Spain is experiencing its second recession in three years, is burdened with an unemployment rate of nearly 25 percent and social unrest is on the rise. The number of people registered unemployed rose to 4.71 million in September as the tourism season ended and businesses let workers go.

"I work in a hospital, but I'm about to end up unemployed," 58-year-old nurse Victoria Gutierrez said. "On Oct. 30, my temporary contract will finish and it won't be extended.

"We have minimum cover on every floor at every hospital," she said. "This is affecting not just hospitals, also education and civil services, everything."

The government has pushed through nine straight months of tough austerity measures which have prompted Spain's 17 regional governments, some of which are heavily indebted, to slash spending in health care and education.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 10, 2012, 10:51:51 pm

S&P cuts Spain credit rating to BBB-minus, near junk



NEW YORK (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Wednesday cut Spain's sovereign credit rating to BBB-minus, just above junk territory, citing a deepening economic recession that is limiting the government's policy options to arrest the slide.
The S&P downgrade comes with a negative outlook reflecting the credit ratings agency's view that there are significant risks to economic growth and budgetary performance, plus a lack of clear direction in euro zone policies.
"In our view, the capacity of Spain's political institutions (both domestic and multilateral) to deal with the severe challenges posed by the current economic and financial crisis is declining," S&P said in a statement.
S&P's two-notch downgrade from BBB-plus brings it in line with Moody's Investors Service's Baa3 rating. Moody's has Spain on review for a possible downgrade.
Both firms have Spain just on the cusp of junk status. Fitch Ratings has a BBB rating on Spain, one notch higher, but also with a negative outlook.
A spokeswoman at Spain's Economy Ministry told Reuters the government had no comment on the ratings action.
The country has been in recession since earlier this year, its second economic contraction in just a few years, and unemployment is stubbornly high at close to 25 percent with a return to job creation still two years away.
Falling tax revenue and rising costs of unemployment benefits are confounding the government's efforts to hit a 2012 deficit reduction target of 6.3 percent of gross domestic target agreed with the European Union.
Both the International Monetary Fund and Spain's own Central Bank cast doubt on the savings envisioned in Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's 2013 budget, saying they are based on a too-rosy outlook for the economy.
In the wake of the downgrade, the euro dropped about 0.25 percent to $1.2865 in late New York trade from just under $1.29 prior to the news.
"This is weighing on the euro. A downgrade from S&P could be followed by a downgrade from Moody's, and while S&P did not downgrade Spain to junk, Moody's might," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.
"If Moody's goes to junk status, that's even more significant, and this adds to the pressure on Moody's to make a decision. It could lead to higher bond yields in Spain and push the government closer to asking for a bailout," Lien added.
In European trade earlier on Tuesday, ten-year Spanish bond yields fell 1 basis point to 5.83 percent. Those yields spiked above 7 percent earlier this year, but have since come down on a European Central Bank bond-buying plan.
Prime Minister Rajoy's centre-right People's Party has an absolute majority in parliament and so far has been able to pass spending cuts and economic reforms without any problem.
However, street protests have increased in recent months as Spaniards revolt against public sector wage cuts and lower spending on education and healthcare. Resentment is also rising over huge public bailouts for the country's crippled banks, while social benefits are cut.
Although Rajoy's PP governs 11 of 17 Spanish regions, which have been forced to make massive budget cuts, S&P noted that tensions between the central and regional governments are rising, "leading to substantially diluted policy outcomes."
The agency said Rajoy's resolve will be "repeatedly tested by domestic constituencies."
Although the European Central Bank has set up a bond-buying program that would support Spanish debt prices on the secondary market, Spain has balked at signing up for international aid because it would come with harsh conditions.
"We view the Spanish government's hesitation to agree to a formal assistance program ... as potentially raising the downside risks to Spain's rating," S&P said in its note.
The agency also said that euro zone policy makers must show progress on implementing a banking union that would allow Europe to directly recapitalize Spanish banks, taking the weight off of the Spanish government.
(Reporting by Daniel Bases, Luciana Lopez and Steven C. Johnson in New York; Fiona Ortiz and Carlos Ruano in Madrid; editing by Dan Grebler, Gary Crosse and Leslie Gevirtz)

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 19, 2012, 06:01:54 pm
Spain’s Regional Bailout Fund: A Drop In A Bucket Of Insolvency
19 October 2012
, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

It will come as no surprise to many that the initial size estimates of Spain's regional bailout fund are now being questioned.

The government is now 'analyzing' whether the EUR18bn 'temporary' bailout fund needs to be increased. In a word - Yes!

As this chart from Bloomberg Briefs shows, the size of the 'help' is pittance compared to the debt-loads of Catalonia alone (which recently sought secession).


As Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes, Spanish regional elections in the Basque country and Galicia take place on Sunday, followed by a ballot in Catalonia on Nov. 25.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy may prefer to seek a bailout after the elections as a series of defeats for his People’s Party could exacerbate investor concerns about the government’s ability to control spending and revenue and bring down the deficit.

Perhaps our 'context' update on Spain's situation last night was rather prescient after all?

In what seems like a remarkable coincidence:

Spanish region of Asturias will seek EU261.7m from central govt’s rescue fund for regions

Source: Bloomberg Briefs

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 25, 2012, 09:25:11 am

Spain's Santander had 30 billion euros state debt position at end: September
Reuters – 4 hrs ago.

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's biggest bank Santander on Thursday said it owned around 30 billion euros of Spanish sovereign debt at the end of September.
"When it comes to public debt, exposure to Spanish sovereign debt is around 30 billion euros," Santander Chief Executive Alfredo Saenz said during a conference call with analysts.
He added the holdings had come down from 35 billion euros in the previous quarter after debt matured.
Saenz also said bad loans would peak across the group towards the end of 2013.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 30, 2012, 05:10:03 pm
Spanish Contraction Continues, Austerity Spurs Inflation
30 October 2012, by Emma Ross-Thomas (Bloomberg)


Spain’s economy contracted for a fifth quarter, undermining efforts to plug the budget deficit that’s pushing the nation closer to a bailout, while austerity measures kept inflation at a 17-month high.

Gross domestic product declined 0.3% in the three months through September, compared with 0.4% the prior quarter, the National Statistics Institute said today.

That compared with the Bank of Spain’s estimate on Oct. 23 of a 0.4% contraction. Consumer prices, rose 3.5% from a year earlier, Madrid-based INE said.

The prolongation of Spain’s five-year slump, which is prompting record loan defaults at the nation’s banks and job cuts at companies including Gamesa SA, adds to pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he resists requesting international aid.

While the tax hikes he’s implementing as part of his austerity program are depressing consumption, they are also spurring inflation, which threatens to add €3 billion ($3.9 billion) to the country’s pension bill.

“The real discussion should be about how protracted the recession will be and if you look at the fiscal tightening you really have to be conservative about next year,” said Martin Van Vliet, an economist at ING Bank in Amsterdam.

“I’m very concerned about the size of the fiscal tightening, the fact they’re going to miss their deficit targets and the fact Rajoy is delaying the request for aid.”

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 05, 2012, 09:17:52 pm
Spain jobless claims rise 128,242 in October
5 November 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

Jobless claims in Spain rose by 128,242 in October, bringing the total number of unemployed to 4,833,521, a rise of 2.7%, according to official statistics released Monday.

The October rise, though, is below that of a year ago, when claims rose by 134,182 and also marks the fifth consecutive month that has shown an improvement on an annual basis.

Also for the month, 76% of the rise in jobless claims came from the services sector. Spain is suffering a severe economic downturn owing to the collapse of a decade-long housing bubble.

Its jobless rate hit 25% in the third quarter.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 10, 2012, 10:05:26 am


Spanish woman jumps to her death as eviction looms

MADRID (AP) - A woman in Spain jumped to her death as bailiffs approached to evict her Friday from her fourth-floor apartment for failing to pay the mortgage, officials said.

It was the second apparent suicide linked to evictions, and it further illustrates the dire conditions many Spaniards find themselves in as the country's economy sinks. The government recently created a task force to study how to reduce evictions because of the devastating personal impact of repossessions due to tough Spanish mortgage rules and growing unease among the public on the subject.




Evicted Spaniard's suicide brings thousands to the streets (PHOTOS)

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Basque Spanish city of Barakaldo to condemn the suicide of an evictee as well as to protests against further foreclosures.

­Fifty-three-year-old Amaia Egaña jumped four floors to her death as bailiffs prepared to kick her out after she failed to stay current on her mortgage payments. She is the second person in less than three weeks to commit suicide in the face of an impending eviction.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2012, 05:51:10 pm


Anti-austerity marches turn violent across southern Europe

MADRID/LISBON (Reuters) - Demonstrations turned violent in Spain and Portugal after millions took part in a mostly peaceful general strike on Wednesday in organized labor's biggest Europe-wide challenge to austerity policies since the debt crisis began three years ago.

In Lisbon, marches ended with a level of violence not seen since the crisis began, with police charging demonstrators who hurled stones and bottles, leaving nearly 50 people hurt.

Protesters in Madrid burned rubbish bins, filling the central boulevard with smoke, while in Barcelona demonstrators burned police cars.

Riot police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in both cities, where more than 140 people were arrested, including two said by police to be carrying material to make explosives, while more than 70 were reported injured.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, schools were shut, factories were at a standstill and trains barely ran in Spain and Portugal where unions held their first joint general strike. Stoppages in Belgium interrupted international rail services.

Workers also protested in Greece and France against austerity policies that have taken a heavy economic toll and aggravated mass unemployment.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 17, 2012, 08:49:21 pm


Spain Suicides Spark Law Risking Bank Losses: Mortgages

Spain, responding to street protests and reports of suicides linked to foreclosures, introduced rules to help protect families from eviction, increasing the risk of creditor losses and weakening an already fragile banking system.

Banks won’t be able to remove families who can’t pay their mortgages for two years, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said yesterday after the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting in Madrid. The rules apply to households earning less than 1,597 euros ($2,041) per month combined with certain other conditions such as young children in the property.

Spain is trying to balance the threat of social unrest with protecting the banks, four of which have been nationalized. While the rule is designed to help the poor without triggering a larger rise in non-payments it may increase the size of the nation’s bank bailout and harm the interests of European lenders with $110.4 billion of exposure to Spanish lenders.

“It seems clearly meant for extreme cases and is supposed to not overly dilute the rights of banks,” said Bernd Volk, the head of covered bonds and agency research at Deutsche Bank AG. “However, it seems difficult to assess the practical relevance as anyone can probably claim that some criteria apply and stop paying the mortgage.”


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2012, 08:42:29 am
As we see in Europe, as horrible as their debt-ridden economy is getting, it's not exactly "crashing" per se, like you hear media reports(both mainstream and independent) keep saying will happen imminently every now and then.

HOWEVER, the NWO minions are getting exactly what they want - not only high unemployment, more bailouts, etc, but RIOTING in the streets et al by the citizens, which has gone on for over 2 years now. This is the kind of reaction they want, so that ultimately they can get everyone on their knees to accept the new system(when it comes around).

And this is exactly one of the main goals the NWO minions want here in America - massive riots to provoke Martial Law, and the "truther" media like Alex Jones is one venue that is doing all they can to fuel the fire.

Anyhow, like we discussed in other threads(and I discussed with a brethren in a pm over the weekend) - alot of this back and forth talk over what is going on behind the scenes is nothing but a dog and pony show, and even the independent news sources are conflicting one another. But again, ultimately, it's the NWO minions that are the ones trying to get that negative reaction from the citizens.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 25, 2012, 05:15:26 pm

Spain to get EU bank aid December 15 in return for job losses: report


MADRID (Reuters) - European authorities will transfer 35 billion euros to Spain's state bank rescue fund on December 15 in exchange for massive layoffs at Spain's four nationalized banks, including state-rescued Bankia , El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.

The cash injection from European bailout funds will be disbursed to troubled Spanish banks two weeks after it is paid into Spain's bank restructuring fund, or FROB, the paper said.

Bankia, which sought a 23.5 billion euro bailout from the state in May, is expected to be forced to lay off up to 6,000 people from its current 20,000 staff, while NovaGalicia Bank is seen laying off 2,000 of its 5,800 workforce, said El Pais, citing European and banking sources.

Bankia and NovaGalicia Bank declined to comment on the report, which also said the banks would have to close 1,000 branches between the two of them.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 14, 2012, 10:01:54 pm
Spanish Debt Reaches Historic Numbers
14 December 2012, Madrid (Prensa Latina)

The Spanish national debt reached 77.4% of the GDP in the third quarter of the current year, highly exceeding the figure allowed by the EU, the Bank of Spain reported on Friday.

Indebtedness of public administrations (State, autonomous communities and city halls) increased 1.55% in comparison with the second quarter of 2012, up to €817,164 billion, the equivalent to 77.4% of the GDP.

According to central bank data, it is the highest level of indebtedness of the whole historic series that began in 1990.

Compared to the same quarter of 2011, when it exceeded €708,500 billion, the debt of all the administrations together increased 15.3%.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 03, 2013, 08:27:15 pm
Spain Plunders 90% Of Social Security Fund To Buy Its Own Debt
3 January 2013, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


With Spanish 10Y yields hovering at a 'relatively' healthy 5%, having been driven inexorably lower on the promise of ECB assistance at some time in the future, the market has become increasingly unsure of just who it is that keeps bidding for this stuff.

Well, wonder no longer. As the WSJ notes, Spain has been quietly tapping the country's richest piggy bank, the Social Security Reserve Fund, as a buyer of last resort for Spanish government bonds

- with at least 90% of the €65 billion ($85.7 billion) fund has been invested in increasingly risky Spanish debt

Of course, this is nothing new, the US (and the Irish) have been using quasi-government entities to fund themselves in a mutually-destructive circle-jerk for years

- the only difference being there are other buyers in the Treasury market, whereas in Spain the marginal buyer is critical to support the sinking ship.

The Spanish defend the use of pension funds to buy bonds as sustainable as long as it can issue bonds - and yet the only way it can actually get the bonds off in the public markets is through using the pension fund assets.

The pensioners sum it up perfectly "We are very worried about this, we just don't know who's going to pay for the pensions of those who are younger now," or those who are older we would add.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Kilika on January 04, 2013, 03:41:40 am
Is all of this financial mess an intentional effort to cause collapses for some kind of gain, or is it just an expected result from the system being driven by the love of money? It may be a combination, but ultimately, their system is flawed as a result of their lust for profits and getting gains.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 04, 2013, 10:44:27 am
Is all of this financial mess an intentional effort to cause collapses for some kind of gain, or is it just an expected result from the system being driven by the love of money? It may be a combination, but ultimately, their system is flawed as a result of their lust for profits and getting gains.

And the NWO minions' master is Satan(ie-look at all our world leaders and their ties to Freemasonry, Catholicism, etc).

Pro_22:7  The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

James 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Jas 5:2  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
Jas 5:3  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
Jas 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Jas 5:5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 20, 2013, 08:45:41 pm


UPDATE 1-Spain preparing US dollar bond issue

LONDON, Feb 19 (IFR) - Spain is preparing to issue a bond denominated in US dollars, possibly as early as this week, market sources said on Tuesday.

The eurozone peripheral sovereign, rated Baa3/BBB-/BBB, is working to get the appropriate documentation in place for a possible five-year deal, building on feedback from US investors during a roadshow last week.

"It seems like Spain wants to have a crack at dollars," said one bank origination official.

"It makes sense because our sales force in the US is saying there is definite interest for a dollar deal out of Spain."

Another market source said that Spain was looking but did not think it had yet awarded a bond mandate. A spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance declined to comment.


The dollar market will enable Spain to diversify its investor base and tap into the largest community of yield-hungry emerging markets funds.

Eurozone peer Slovenia managed to do exactly that late last year, issuing a USD2.25bn 10-year bond in line with where its equivalent euro bonds were trading.

But while Slovenia was forced to dollars after euro investors shunned the country, Spain finds itself in a much stronger position.

Spain has already made significant inroads into its hefty EUR120bn funding programme for 2013, raising EUR22bn via a syndicated 10-year bond and a handful of auctions.

"It will be a sideshow, an opportunistic deal to relieve a bit of funding pressure...but Spain still need to be cognisant of the need for support from their home market," said a sovereign bond portfolio manager at a London-based fixed income fund.

"That said, if it came at the right levels and was attractively priced we would definitely look at investing in a dollar deal from Spain," he added.

Spain last issued a dollar-denominated bond back in September 2009 - a USD2.5bn 3-year priced at mid-swaps plus 18bp via Barclays, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. (Reporting by John Geddie; editing by Alex Chambers)

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Boldhunter on February 20, 2013, 11:55:09 pm
Spaniards are bartering, or trading, their way through a recession that has lasted years.
BARCELONA - With two small children and no income for the past two years, Antonio Delgado, 44, says things were so bad he had considered taking his life.

Then a few months ago, Delgado found out about a group that rents small parcels of farmland cheap near his town of La Rinconada in southern Spain. Now he' s bringing home boxes of tomatoes, onions, peppers, lettuce, zucchinis and pumpkins. But he is not selling them.

Delgado and others are bartering, or trading, their way through a recession that has lasted years and left more than a quarter of the workforce unemployed. Tens of thousands of households have no wage earners, but they have skills and time on their hands to do work that can be traded for things they need but have no money to buy.

"I had no clue about agriculture," Delgado said. "But this has changed my life."

Banker Julio Gisbert, author of the book and blog Living Without a Job, says Spaniards are doing what makes sense in these tough times.

"It is possible to live without a job, and that doesn't mean living without working," Gisbert says.

Trading produce for other services and merchandise is one of the many unconventional ways the Spanish are making ends meet in what has been described as the new "sharing economy" that has developed here since the economic crisis hit more than four years ago.

According to the Spanish government, more than half a million families have no income. The unemployment rate has climbed to 26%, but among young workers it is as astonishing 55%.

The deepest economic crisis in Spain's modern history is rooted in a housing boom financed by cheap loans to builders and home buyers who went bust. Homes were not worth what was borrowed to buy or build them.

Spain borrowed to lend the banks money to survive, but that put the national government in a budget deficit. Regional governments that spent budget surpluses in boom years were forced to end public spending and cut benefits and jobs, hobbling economic growth. The economy, which grew 3.7% a year on average from 1999 to 2007, has since contracted at an annual rate of 1% since.

With few jobs and no disposable income, bartering and other ways of exchanging goods and services are increasingly seen as good alternatives.

Some Spaniards are using so-called time banks to "deposit" time, knowledge and skills and trade them for things they need. All services have the same value, whether it is one hour of teaching a foreign language or one hour of cleaning house.

Teresa Sanchez, 55, is part of the Time Bank in Valladolid in western Spain. She has deposited offers of Japanese language classes, massage and company for the elderly. In return, she has received English lessons, appliance repairs and haircuts for her son.

"I first joined because I like the idea of people helping each other as it used to be long ago, but it is true that it is nice economic help," said Sanchez. "The world would work better without money."

The number of time banks in Spain has doubled to 318 in the past three years, according to the Association of Time Banks. SocialCar.com allows people to rent their private cars to other individuals while JoinUp Taxi makes it easy for people to share taxis to the same destination. Nolotiro.org ("I Won't Throw It Out") allows people to give away things they don't need anymore, such as clothing or tools.

Mi Huerto Compartido (My Shared Garden) allows land owners to "lend" ground in exchange for part of the harvest. And Truequebook.es users barter school books and other goods for children.

Delgado got his plot of farmland from My Harvest Ecological Gardens, which rents 540-square-foot parcels of land for $40 a month. He works the land 20 hours a week and exchanges produce with other small farmers so he can get the wide variety of food his family needs.

Besides the cybermarket places, nearly 100 bartering markets have appeared in Catalonia alone, according to Intercanvis.net, a site that tracks the bartering economy in this northeastern region of Spain.

"The main reason why people start using these sites is economic, whether it is to save money, make money or get goods or services without money," said Albert Canigueral, editor of ConsumoColaborativo.com, Spain's biggest site on the sharing economy. "However, once people have tried them out a couple of times, their mentality changes and they start looking at alternatives to traditional shopping as their only option."



Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 21, 2013, 10:49:03 am

All of this is doing nothing more than conditioning the masses there for this...

Rev 13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Rev 13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Rev 13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

And in addition, is this so-called "sharing economy" even biblical?

2Cor 8:13  For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
2Co 8:14  But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
2Co 8:15  As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

James 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

James 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 22, 2013, 12:23:43 pm


Spain, France to miss debt goals as euro zone stays in recession

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone will not return to growth until 2014 and struggling Spain and France will be among those who miss debt-cutting targets as a result, the European Commission said on Friday.
Paris and Lisbon said they would seek more time from Brussels to reach their deficit goals. Madrid has already indicated the same.
The EU's executive said the euro zone economy, which generates nearly a fifth of global output, would shrink 0.3 percent in 2013 after a 0.6 percent fall last year, blaming a lack of bank lending and record joblessness for delaying the recovery.
That represented a marked downgrade of the Commission's prediction from November that the euro zone would grow this year. The euro slipped on the back of the forecasts.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 23, 2013, 04:21:58 pm


Spain anti-austerity marches attract thousands

Thousands march in Spain against austerity measures on anniversary of failed 1981 coup

By Harold Heckle, Associated Press | Associated Press – 58 mins ago.

MADRID (AP) -- Tens of thousands of people marched on Spain's parliament on Saturday to protest austerity measures, a demonstration that came on the 32nd anniversary of a failed attempt by the armed forces to overthrow the government.

Protest groups joined forces under the slogan "Citizens' Tide, 23F," referring to the Feb. 23, 1981, attack by the armed forces on the parliament. Organizers said that Spain "is under a financial coup" and called on people to march against what they said was government favoritism toward financial institutions at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Many Spaniards have been enraged by austerity cutbacks and tax hikes introduced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a bid to reduce the deficit, ease market pressures on government borrowing and try and avoid a full financial bailout. Spain is in its second recession in three years and has 26 percent unemployment.

"We are all indignant and think the measures adopted by the government are wrong, especially considering they did not say they would adopt them before the elections when people voted them into office," said Sergio Sosa, a 46-year-old employee of Iberia airlines, which is planning 3,800 job cuts.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 26, 2013, 04:28:43 pm
Spain extremely worried by impact of deadlocked Italy vote

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain said it was extremely worried about the impact of Italy's deadlocked election result, warning on Tuesday the deadlock could affect the entire euro zone.
Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said there was a feeling of "extreme concern" over possible movements in bond spreads as a reaction to the results.
"This is a jump to nowhere that does not bode well either for Italy or for Europe," Garcia-Margallo told journalists on the sidelines of a conference in Madrid.
The Spanish government said it was monitoring the situation, especially the fallout on financial markets as the premium investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt rather than the German benchmark jumped to 393 basis points, a level not seen in several weeks, when it emerged a cabinet could be hard to form.


Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on March 04, 2013, 11:27:01 am

Spain's jobless hits record 5 million in February

Spain registered jobless breaks 5 million record in February

MADRID (AP) -- Spain now has a record five million people registered as unemployed as the country remains stuck in recession.

The Labor Ministry said Monday that the number of people on the unemployment list in February jumped by 59,444 compared with January, making for a total of 5.04 million.

Spain is battling to emerge from its second recession in just over three years with its economy still reeling from the collapse of the once-booming real estate sector.

The country's unemployment rate was at 26 percent at the end of the fourth quarter.

Title: The Worst Unemployment Crisis In Modern History Is Unfolding Right Now
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 06, 2013, 09:49:53 pm
The Worst Unemployment Crisis In Modern History Is Unfolding Right Now

REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo

"Jobless. Help me. Thanks."
At 27.2%, Spain is suffering the worst unemployment rate in modern history.
Spain is tied with Greece, and is worse than the approximately 25% unemployment rate that the U.S. saw during The Great Depression.

The causes, by now, are familiar — the end of a massive, bubble-fueled construction boom in 2008 led to spiraling unemployment and a deep recession, wreaking havoc on the Spanish economy.

And although the country managed to return to marginally positive economic growth in 2010 and 2011, it has since slipped back into recession, and the outlook isn't good.

Unlike the Spanish growth trajectory, the rise in Spanish unemployment since 2008 has been incredibly consistent. Each new statistical release bears the terrible news that more Spaniards have joined the ranks of the unemployed.


The problem is compounded by the fact that Spanish businesses are closing their doors at a record pace. In the first quarter of 2013, 2,564 companies filed for bankruptcy, up 45% from 2012.

And while much attention is paid to the headline unemployment numbers — especially for youths, 57% of whom are now jobless — statistics that give a bit more of a glimpse of how life has changed in Spain since the crisis began are much more revealing.

For most, no job means no income — and in many cases, no income means no food.

According to the Spanish Red Cross' Bulletin on Social Vulnerability, 26% of Spaniards the Red Cross helps can't afford to put a meal with protein on the table even three times a week, and 43% percent can't afford to heat their homes in the winter months.

That is, if they still have their homes — the number of Spaniards facing foreclosures on their mortgages and evictions is rising fast.

Foreclosures ordered by courts in 2012 alone totaled 91,622, up 17.7% from 2011.

Some of these cases have ended in suicide. In November, a woman jumped six stories to her death as foreclosure agents were forcing open her front door. In February, an elderly married couple took their own lives, citing impending foreclosure in a note.

In January, there were even two cases of men who set themselves on fire.

At least one of them was reported to have lost his job and was facing financial issues.

This is the environment from which those in Spain are actively attempting to escape.

During the good years, Spain experienced a swelling population as immigrants came to fill the excess of employment opportunities caused by the Spanish construction boom.

Now, they are leaving. In 2012, Spain saw its population actually decrease for the first time since records began being kept in the 1990s.

However, the population outflow isn't just former immigrants turning into emigrants. Young Spaniards, faced with no opportunities at home, are packing up everything they own and fleeing to countries like Canada in search of opportunity

Is there hope? The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook paints a grim picture. The international lender forecasts a 1.6% contraction in 2013, and doesn't see Spain returning to even 1.5% GDP growth until 2017.

And while the Spanish Labor Ministry today reported a drop in unemployment in April — down 0.9% to 4.99 million officially-registered job-seekers — analysts were quick to write this off as a temporary respite due to increased hiring for the holiday season.

Title: Re: Watch Spain
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 25, 2013, 02:42:39 pm
'Our generation is a lost cause': Spain's youth struggle to chart a life amid economic crisis

MADRID, Spain - In a country where more than 55 percent of young people are unemployed, even an obsession with bolstering your resume is no guarantee of success.

Barbara Victoria Palomares-Romero, 22, is qualified to work in restaurants, nurseries and hotels. Since leaving high school, she’s trained as a secretary, air conditioning technician and funeral cosmetologist, which is her profession of choice.

“Even though I’m 22, my resume is two pages long. And that’s because I have done everything,” she said. “I have done everything and can’t find anything.”

Palomares-Romero, who has no income other than the 50 euros (about $66) a month her parents give her, had the bad luck of coming of age in a country – and continent – in crisis. 

Once envied around the world for its high standard of living and booming economy, Spain is now suffering with a 26 percent overall unemployment rate – but the numbers skyrocket to more than double the national average when it comes to people under 25. Talk is rife of a lost generation unable to properly transition into adulthood.

“Our generation is a lost cause because they don’t let us work,” said Palomares-Romero, who lives with her parents in Orcasitas, a working-class neighborhood in the south of  Madrid.

Relief could be years away. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently forecast that the country would be stuck with 25 percent plus general unemployment for another five years.  This is one of the highest rates in the entire industrialized world.

“The economic crisis has hit young people especially hard,” said Almudena Moreno, a sociologist and author of a report on delayed adulthood in Spain.  “That’s because the youth are the most fragile and vulnerable sector of our economic system.”

An estimated seven out of ten Spaniards between the age 20 and 29 still live at home, according to Moreno’s 2012 report.

While youth in Spain have traditionally chosen to live with their parents until a relatively late age – close to 29, compared to 23 in Finland, for example – this decision is imposed on them by joblessness and precarious work conditions, Moreno said.

“Young people (used to) choose to stay at home, for reasons of convenience, to finish their studies,” she said. “Now it is an imposition, there is no option.”

And living with parents is no assurance of financial security: In almost 2 million homes, every member of the family is unemployed, according to government statistics

Many of Cecilia de la Serna’s counterparts have delayed or abandoned hopes of finding a stable career, a home and a family, says the 22-year-old university student who dreams of becoming an investigative reporter one day.

“It feels like you are going to lose half your life until you have stability,” she said. “And I’m not even talking about having children. We don’t know when we will have children, or even if we will be able to have them.”

The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has slashed social programs and made it easier for employers to fire workers under an austerity plan meant to cut debt and foster growth. While it has a plan meant to improve youth unemployment, actual spending on issues related to the young in Spain lag far behind many European counterparts, according to Moreno’s report.

The IMF, meanwhile, is calling for more. “The reform effort must continue,” James Daniel, the organization’s top man in Spain, said on Aug. 2.

Ramón Espinar Merino, a 27-year-old unemployed political scientist, blames the crisis precisely on the system he says is being imposed on the country.

“When there are 55 percent of young people without work, the problem isn’t that I am doing it wrong, the problem is that society is organized wrong,” he said. “The problem is that there is no future for a whole generation.”

Espinar Merino, who lives with family, is also a spokesman for grassroots organization Juventud Sin Futuro (Youth Without Future), which was set up more than two years ago amid a broad coalition of groups demanding an alternative to the punishing economic reforms.

The organization’s “We’re not going, they’re kicking us out” campaign highlights another aspect of the crisis – the flood of young and often educated Spaniards leaving the country in hopes of finding a future abroad.

A world map on the organization's website dotted with bios of young Spaniards offers of glimpse of the ongoing brain drain. 

“Francesc Tores,” 29, says he’s working in Almaty, Kazakstan as an engineer.  “Sofia Olivia Sanchez,” 25, is a nurse in Dun-sur-Auron, France.

“Spain is losing many valuable people with brains, with a lot to do and offer,” said Laura Belenguer Ortiz-Villajos, a 27-year-old job seeker and masters student in radio. “People of my generation need to put into practice what is in their heads, and in Spain this is very hard to do.”

Official statistics show that the number of Spaniards between the ages of 15 and 29 who left the country jumped by a third between 2009 and 2013.

But while many counterparts can leave the country, Palomares-Romero sees no way out.

“The situation is bad and getting worse,” she said.  “Spain is looking like the worst country in the world.”