Not out of the woods

Not out of the woods

CONCERN that Greece’s debt crisis might presage similar episodes elsewhere in the euro zone has not disappeared, despite a €750 billion ($990 billion) backstop agreed in May 2010 in concert with the IMF. Sovereign-bond spreads (the extra interest compared with bonds issued by Germany, the safest credit) have drifted back up in a handful of other countries, notably Ireland and Portugal. Attempts to tackle budget deficits through public spending cuts and tax increases have offered some reassurance to bondholders, but have also held back GDP growth.

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