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SPAIN Spain was considered the next weakest link, which fuelled fear among European investors because the country’s economy is much larger than those of Greece, Ireland or Portugal. Giving it rescue loans would severely test the euro zone’s financial capabilities. The main concern was that Spanish banks, which took huge losses on a collapsed real estate market, would force the Spanish government into rescue efforts it could not afford. The Spanish government agreed to a deal in July 2012 with euro zone officials to get up to €100-billion in rescue loans directly for the banks. For a few weeks it seemed the Spanish government would also need rescue loans, but its borrowing rates in bond markets fell back down after the European Central Bank vowed to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. It created a new program to buy a country’s bonds if needed, drastically boosting confidence in the euro zone states’ public finances.In photo: A statue of Christopher Columbus is seen in front of a Spanish flag in central Madrid in a file picture.
SPAIN Spain was considered the next weakest link, which fuelled fear among European investors because the country’s economy is much larger than those of Greece, Ireland or Portugal. Giving it rescue loans would severely test the euro zone’s financial capabilities. The main concern was that Spanish banks, which took huge losses on a collapsed real estate market, would force the Spanish government into rescue efforts it could not afford. The Spanish government agreed to a deal in July 2012 with euro zone officials to get up to €100-billion in rescue loans directly for the banks. For a few weeks it seemed the Spanish government would also need rescue loans, but its borrowing rates in bond markets fell back down after the European Central Bank vowed to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. It created a new program to buy a country’s bonds if needed, drastically boosting confidence in the euro zone states’ public finances.In photo: A statue of Christopher Columbus is seen in front of a Spanish flag in central Madrid in a file picture.
(PAUL HANNA/REUTERS)

SIMONA CHIOSE

Women in Spain won't accept country's restrictive abortion law

The trouncing of Spain’s Socialist party a little over two years ago was a protest against the country’s declining household wealth, rising unemployment and bank failures. Voted in by a strong majority, the Partido Popular has not been able to redress most of those issues but it is now counting on that majority to push through a deeply unpopular and restrictionist abortion law.