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Spain, one battle in the bigger euro war

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Spain, one battle in the bigger euro war

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Around Europe the banking community has been holding its collective breath aware that if Spain’s banks did not get outside help their collapse would send shock waves through the continent.

They are awash with bad debts and a state-backed fund set up to cover their losses does not have deep enough pockets.

Spain’s government, banks and companies have been loaned hundreds of billions.

Total Spanish loans outstanding to German banks were 117 billion euros at the end of last year.

French lenders were owed 92 billion, Britain’s were in the hole for 67 billion and US banks had lent 37 billion euros.

Sorting out the banks’ problems quickly is essential because they threaten the Madrid government and if it defaults or was forced out of the eurozone there would be chaos in the world economy.

But eurozone policymakers know that Spain is just one battle in the much bigger war with financial markets over the future of the euro.