Spain

Europe
4:44 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Spain's Leader Calls It A 'Victory,' Not A Bailout

Protesters rally against a bailout package for Spain in front of a Bank of Spain building in Barcelona on Monday. The demonstrators think the bailout will bring only greater hardship.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 8:10 pm

A day after getting approval for a financial rescue he vowed Spain would never need, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it was his idea all along.

"No one pressured me into this. I pushed for it myself, because I wanted a line of credit," Rajoy said. He refused to call it a "bailout." He called it a "victory" instead.

Most Spaniards don't buy that. In a poll published Sunday, 78 percent of respondents said they have "little or no" faith in Rajoy and his ruling conservatives. That's just six months after they won elections in a landslide.

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Europe
6:46 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Open Season On Spain's King After Luxe Hunting Trip

King Juan Carlos of Spain is discharged from Hospital San Jose in Madrid on Wednesday after undergoing hip replacement surgery. He fractured his hip during a recent elephant hunting trip to Botswana. The trip cost nearly $60,000 and has caused a furor in the country, which is suffering record unemployment and is being squeezed by austerity measures.
Paco Campos Getty Images

For a man used to pomp and paparazzi, King Juan Carlos of Spain looked shaken, emerging from a hospital in Madrid Wednesday after hip surgery.

"I'm very sorry," he said, blinking into the cameras, sheepish, and leaning on his crutches. "I made a mistake, and it won't happen again."

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Europe
5:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Spain Scrambles To Avoid A Financial Bailout

A broker sits in the stock exchange in Madrid. Worries about Spain's finances intensified last week as the country's bond yields rose on international markets, making it more expensive for Spain to borrow money.
Paul White AP

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited Poland last week and tried to assure international markets that Spain would not join the list of European nations needing a bailout.

"Spain will not be rescued," he said at a news conference. "It's not possible to rescue Spain. There's no intention of it, and we don't need it."

However, Spain's borrowing costs are nearing levels that were followed by bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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Europe
3:52 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Students, Police Clash As Spain Reaches Boiling Point

Police restrain a student protesting against education cuts during a rally in Valencia, in eastern Spain, on Feb. 20. Spaniards are beginning to feel the effects of $20 billion in austerity measures, and discontent is growing.
Juan Carlos Cardenas EPA/Landov

Spain's austerity measures have begun to spark clashes, and a high school in Valencia — Spain's most indebted province — has become a flash point for nationwide rallies.

Last month, police arrested 25 demonstrators there, where cellphones captured video of heavy-handed beatings and parents were shocked to see their children on TV, pinned down by police.

The skirmish was a possible sign of what's to come as the conservative government pushes through more spending cuts and people settle into a period of sacrifice in hopes of economic recovery.

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