Sonya Dowsett and Sarah White
May 31, 2012
Spaniards alarmed by the dire state of their banks are squirreling money abroad at the fastest rate since records began, figures showed on Thursday, and the credit ratings of eight regions were cut.
Spain is the next country in the firing line of the euro zone’s debt crisis, with spendthrift regions and shaky banks threatening to blow a hole in state finances and pushing funding costs towards levels that signal the need for a bailout.
The European Commission gave new help on Wednesday, offering direct aid from a euro zone rescue fund to recapitalize Spanish banks and more time for Madrid to reduce its budget deficit.