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Spain and Portugal under pressure amid crisis fears

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Spain and Portugal under pressure amid crisis fears


It is not yet a Greek tragedy. But shares in Spain and Portugal have taken a tumble amid growing anxiety over the heavily indebted countries’ financial plight.

The Greek budget crisis has sent shockwaves across the euro zone.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero insisted his country was financially “solid.” His comments seem aimed at defusing investor fears that have spread from Greece to the Iberian Peninsula.

But Spain’s predicament can’t be compared to the other nations, according to financial analyst Rafael Pampillon. He says Greece and Portugul have been in economic crisis for a long time, with debt levels much higher than Spain’s.
“Their budget deficit is much higher and their balance of trade deficit is higher than that of Spain,” he said.

Greece remains the key cause for concern.
Yesterday, tax officials there kicked off a whole series of strikes against austerity measures meant to get the country back on its feet. Painful spending cuts are central to the government’s plans to slash a ballooning budget deficit and debt.

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