icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Hopes fade for Spain’s survival in eurozone

The European Central Bank has disclosed details of its emergency operation to save Italy and Spain from the debt crisis, revealing that it spent a record € 22 billion on government bonds.

The admission comes ahead of Tuesday's meeting between French PM Nicholas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Angela Merkel in a further bid to stem the spread of the crisis. Small business owner Joachim Araque, who together with his nephew runs a picture-framing shop opened by Joachim's grandfather almost a century ago, says the family firm is going through tough times.“Like all in Spain, my business has been struggling. Although it’s not visible in all areas of business, times have been very hard,” says the man who combines the privilege of living for his work with the necessity of working in order to live. Consider this: Spain is notorious for having unemployment at more than 20 per cent – one of the highest in the eurozone – and carrying a gargantuan sovereign debt burden with ever-costlier bonds. And the country’s problems do not stop there.Despite being the fourth-largest economy in Europe, Spain is definitely feeling the bite of the credit crisis, and that has left many asking a question: is the eurozone such a great idea, after all?The answer may just be, “No”. Spain's rating has been downgraded twice since last September, with the Moody's agency threatening to do so again in the future.In fact, some in Spain believe the best strategy in the current climate may be an exit one.“This [exit from the eurozone] would give us a certain autonomy. It would have a positive effect on internal processes in the country and on purchasing power, and would give citizens access to all sorts of benefits, and would have been good for wages. It could very well lead to an  improvement of the situation in Spain,” believes Carlos J. Moreiro, Chair of Economy, Free School Eméritos in Madrid.A key factor here is distance: while the Spanish struggle with debt and unemployment, their fate is largely being decided by Europe's paymasters-in-chief – in Brussels.“What we’re witnessing here are major internal problems, which you cannot solve out of Brussels, because it’s outside of EU competence,” acknowledges Carlos J. Moreiro. “They have neither the finances nor the labor capabilities to help Spain. Of course, many people are unhappy with the place Spain takes in the European Union.”But craftsman Joachim Araque is not losing hope that his country and his business will eventually climb out of the slump.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.