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Spain PM delays holiday to monitor economy

Source: Reuters - Tue 2th Aug 2011

Spain's Prime Minister delayed his holiday plans on Tuesday to monitor the latest stage of the euro zone debt crisis after the risk premium on the country's debt spiralled to record highs before key Thursday bond sales.

"The prime minister is delaying his departure to Donana (in Andalucia) to more closely monitor the evolution of the economic indicators," the secretary of state for communication said.

Spain's government and economy ministry are in contact with fellow European governments over the situation in the markets, particularly Germany, Italy and France, the economy ministry told Reuters.

On financial markets, the benchmark spread between 10-year Spanish bonds and German Bunds rose to euro lifetime highs above 400 basis points before falling back to around 383 bps.

Spain will face a key test of investor demand on Thursday when the Treasury auctions 2014 and 2015 bonds. Yields are expected to jump to near-record levels at the sale.

Later the President's office also said the PM had been in contact with opposition leader Mariano Rajoy, widely expected to win early elections in November, and Socialist candidate Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, to keep them up to date.

Italian bond yields hit their highest level in the euro's 11-year lifetime, ominously reaching the same level as Spain's in a sign that Rome is overtaking Madrid as the main focus of investors' concern about debt sustainability.

Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti called emergency talks on Wednesday with the Bank of Italy, market regulator Consob and insurance authority ISVAP, ahead of a speech by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on the crisis in parliament.

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