spain strike march 29 2012

Photo: AP/Paul White

It really is all about Spain.From Ambrose-Evans Pritchard:

“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.

The buzz is that Greece is an afterthought and that the Euro either lives or dies based on the immediate response to Spain.

Matthew Lynne at MarketWatch argues that Spain will leave the Euro before Greece, a comment that sounds preposterous, but which is interesting as an emblem of the way people are talking about Spain.

Matthew Yglesias at Slate has the same take, although a bit more sober. “Greece is a distraction,” he says.

The point anyway isn’t so much that Spain is in a state of crisis, but that it’s in a state of crisis that will demand some kind of rapid response.

Let’s see if Europe is up for it.

Click here to see 14 dismal facts about the Spanish economy >


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