Malaga (Spain), April 6 (IANS/EFE) Spain's economy and competitiveness minister on Thursday blamed a sharp rise in the country's debt-risk premium to market volatility triggered by "doubts about growth in Europe".
"It has to do with doubts about economic growth in Europe. If there's no economic growth, the markets start doubting," Luis de Guindos told EFE in the southern city of Marbella.
His remarks came on a day when Spain's debt-risk premium - the extra return investors demand on Spanish government bonds compared to safe-haven German debt - climbed to more than 400 basis points for the first time since last December.
He said Spain must respond by acting "with conviction" in forging ahead with "policies to reduce the public deficit and with economic reforms to boost the economy's potential".
De Guindos added that the problems the country faces are not "strictly Spanish".
"What it highlights is that there's been an increase in market jitters that ... has affected ... the remaining euro-zone countries that are in some way more vulnerable," he added.
"It's a problem that has to do with the more negative economic growth outlook in Spain, Portugal and Italy. This lower growth will lead to greater difficulty in reducing the public deficit," De Guindos said.
After breaking the 400-point barrier, Spain's debt-risk premium stood late Thursday at 406 basis points, while Italy's was 378 bps and Portugal's was 1,050 bps.
Spain's debt-risk premium has climbed by 15 basis points since Wednesday, compared to 19 bps and 24 bps for Italy and Portugal, respectively.
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