Spain debt remains high

Spanish government bonds were trading at around around 6.75%, slightly lower than yesterday but remaining near levels considered unsustainable to borrow from capital markets.

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European Commission president: Eurozone 'will stay the course'

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso insisted today that the euro currency and the "European project" are both irreversible.

Ahead of this weekend's Greek election, which could determine the fate of the eurozone, he said EU leaders would "stay the course" in the midst of the crisis.

Speaking ahead of Monday's G20 summit, Mr Barroso said:

We are determined to show the world that the euro and the European project are irreversible.

We will leave no doubt that the European Union remains determined and will take every action needed to stay the course, defending stability and fostering growth that will be beneficial to all.


Firms rate foreign country default as biggest risk

The risks of a foreign country defaulting on its loans and an economic downturn are the two greatest risks to financial institutions, according to a biannual survey.

The Bank of England's 'Systemic Risk Survey' found that these seven risks were the most commonly cited by respondents from 73 institutions including banks, building societies and insurers:

  • 'Sovereign risk' (foreign country defaulting) cited by 79% of respondents
  • Economic downturn - 79%
  • Funding risk - 45%
  • Risks around regulation/taxes - 40%
  • Risk of financial institution failure/distress - 25%
  • Financial market disruption/dislocation - 21%
  • Property price falls - 21%

What does 'bond yield' mean?

The yield of Spanish government 10-year bonds rose to a high of seven percent on Thursday, alarming the rest of the Eurozone. But what does 'bond yield' mean?

Governments borrow money from the markets by selling bonds. The yield is the amount that an investor can expect to get back, and it is implied by the bond's current market price.

The yield indicates how much the government that is issuing the bonds will have to pay in interest. So if a yield goes up, it becomes more expensive for the government to borrow money from the markets.

'Germany wants assurances before lending its credit card'

Paul Mortimer-Lee, the Head of Market Economics at BNP Paribas, has said that Greece and Spain face a "real problem" about how to fund themselves in the future.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said that no-one wants to buy government bonds from either country, and that uncertainty is spreading to Italian bonds too.

Spain is heading towards another bailout from the Eurozone as it can't afford to fund itself at current borrowing rates.

But he said that Germany is showing signs of willingness to commit more bailout money to its southern neighbours, but that it wants certain assurances first. He likened the situation to Germany wanting to lay some grounds-rules before lending its credit card to a friend.


'G20 leaders have an obligation to find a solution to this crisis'

The euro crisis doesn't just threaten livelihoods from Athens to Madrid.

It is a clear and present danger to people in low-income countries who are struggling with grinding poverty and already feeling the effects of significant cuts in aid.

G20 leaders have an obligation to find a solution to this crisis, not just on behalf of their own citizens but to protect all those that have exhausted their means to protect themselves.

– Oxfam Chief Executive Barbara Stocking

Eurozone break-up 'would hit aid'

The break-up of the eurozone could cost the world's poorest countries nearly £20 billion a year in lost trade and investment - the equivalent of almost a quarter of global aid - Oxfam warned.

As leaders of the world's biggest economies prepare to meet at the G20 summit in Mexico, the aid charity warned that the woes of the single currency threaten the living standards of people well beyond the shores of Europe.

The eurozone crisis is set to dominate next week's G20 gathering, but Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking urged the leaders - including David Cameron - not to forget the needs of the world's poorest countries.

ECB 'at limit of its mandate'

The European Central Bank has reached the limit of its mandate, Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said today, rebuffing growing calls from France and Spain for the ECB to do more to support debt-strained euro zone member states.

The German Bundesbank president's comments came in a question-and-answer session after a speech in which he called for EU leaders to take tough decisions on the currency bloc's future.

If political leaders decided to go down the route toward a fiscal union, Weidmann said euro zone countries had to be prepared to give up sovereignty in some areas and comply with strict budget rules.

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