eurozone breakup prospects intensify
Last Updated : GMT 09:03:45
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Eurozone breakup prospects intensify

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Arab Today, arab today Eurozone breakup prospects intensify

Rome - UPI

Eurozone breakup prospects intensified Wednesday as government borrowing costs, including for governments previously untouched by the crisis, soared.Bond yields, or the interest rates governments pay to borrow, climbed to euro-era records for a second straight day in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands and other eurozone countries previously regarded as safe havens -- as well as in Italy and Spain, deeply weighed down by debt burdens.Italy\'s 10-year-bond yield again jumped above 7 percent, the third time in a week the borrowing cost crossed the threshold that prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek European Union bailouts.Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose own country came under pressure as fears about national creditworthiness spread, said the eurozone should be allowed to expel countries that don\'t adhere to eurozone agreements and follow eurozone rules.\"We would like countries to be able to be pushed out of the eurozone,\" he told a London news conference, saying expulsion would be a last resort.The 17-country economic and monetary union has no provisions to expel member countries and no country has left in its 12 years of existence.Italian Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti -- whose country\'s $2.6 trillion debt is bigger than that of Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined -- said he would present his new government to President Giorgio Napolitano at 11 a.m. Rome time (5 a.m. EST).Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faced a vote of confidence in his 6-day old government several hours later.\"I would like to confirm right now my absolute serenity and conviction in our country\'s ability to overcome this difficult phase,\" Monti, 68, told journalists Tuesday night.He did not identify any new government members or say when the government would be sworn in, but he said he would \"act with urgency\" to address Italy\'s deep-rooted economic problems.Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Wednesday\'s confidence vote -- Greece\'s second in less than two weeks, after Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down in return for the lawmaker support Nov. 4 -- represented Greece\'s \"final chance for our country.\"\"By doing all that is required, we help not only ourselves, but all of the eurozone,\" he told Parliament Tuesday.A confidence vote would give Papademos, 64, a three-month mandate to enact an Oct. 27 bailout agreement that writes off $138 billion in debt held by Greece\'s private creditors and commits another $180 billion to help Greece meet its remaining commitments -- provided the government enacts a new round of painfully deep austerity measures that eurozone leaders say are not negotiable.Greece\'s gross domestic product shrank 5.2 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said Tuesday.Papademos\' Cabinet is expected to approve a 2012 austerity budget Thursday, Venizelos said. The budget is expected to be presented to Parliament Friday.Unions vowed a general strike when the 2012 budget is voted on in Parliament.

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