So who’s next for financial meltdown? Spain, Portugal and Belgium set to follow Ireland into abyss as debt crisis threatens to destroy the euro

Thursday, November 25, 2010
By Paul Martin

25th November 2010

Contagion: Portugal, Spain and Belgium are viewed as the 16-nation eurozone’s next weakest links

Belgium’s debt reaches 100% of annual national income
Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rise sharply

Standard & Poor’s reduces Ireland’s credit rating to A
Eire PM resists EU pressure to raise corporation tax
Irish families each face 4,600 euro bailout bill
Euro drops to a two-month low against the U.S. dollar over bloc’s financial health.
Report warns eurozone’s problems won’t stop at Ireland
New fears have been raised about the future of the euro with the domino effect of faltering economies spreading today.

The latest nation to get sucked into the crisis is Belgium after market traders pushed the cost of insuring the country’s debt to record levels.
The rising cost of Belgium’s debt is now 100 per cent of annual national income. That is raising concerns the country could join Portugal, Spain and Italy on the growing list of countries that could be heading for a financial crisis along with stricken Ireland.
The eurozone was dealt a further blow yesterday after Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rose sharply as investors worried that their debt levels will prove unsustainable, putting them next in line for a European bailout.
As a major public sector strike in Portugal further undermined market confidence there, the interest rate on the government’s 10-year bonds broke through the 7 per cent barrier yesterday. The 10-year Spanish bonds rose to 5.08 per cent from 4.91 per cent at the start of trading.
Portugal and Spain are viewed as the 16-nation eurozone’s next weakest links now that Ireland has followed Greece and accepted a massive international rescue package.

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