A Spanish bond auction went poorly Wednesday, suggesting that Spain may be becoming the next Greece. It was the first auction without a lot of help from the European central bank.
Hundreds of thousands across Spain took to the streets to protest the latest austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The protests were the culmination of a 24-hour general strike that affected air travel and public transportation.
The AP reports:
Spain is littered with vacant lots and half-built apartment complexes, where developers ran out of money when the construction bubble burst.
But in one Madrid barrio, neighbors are putting an abandoned tract of urban space to creative use.
Behind a chain link fence, in a dusty weed-filled lot between two soaring apartment blocks, Emilio de la Rosa is planting vegetables.
"Different types of products — garlic, beans, tomatoes, lettuce," he says. "We're teaching our children where tomatoes come from — not from the grocery store, but the ground."
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And after the latest financial bailout of Greece, Europe is now worried more about Spain. That country has also been overspending for years, in violation of EU budget rules.
To look at the implications, Lauren Frayer brings us this report from Madrid.
LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Before the ink was dry on a new European fiscal pact, Spain was already asking for a pass. Its deficit last year was nearly triple what EU rules allow.
Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:14 pm
"I have a little bar. A drinks bar," says Chadd Ritenbaugh. His bar is called El Catalonia. It's in the port of Marbella, on the Spanish coast.
"Just sun, sand, and sea," he says. "It's just kind of empty at the moment."
Ritenbaugh bought the bar in 2009. Since then, business has gone downhill. He tried, and failed, to sell.
"Nobody's out buying bars right now," he says. "Banks in Spain are not lending a cent — a euro cent."
Chad himself tried and failed to get a bank loan. "Absolutely nothing," he says.