Selskaper i det sørlige Europa betaler en helt annen rente enn tilsvarende selskaper i nord. De landene som går godt har lav rente, de som går dårlig betaler høy. Resultatet er at eurosonen sprekker.
Interest rates paid by companies in the eurozone’s weaker economies have surged, highlighting the bloc’s fragmentation as the European Central Bank loses control of borrowing costs.
ECB data on Monday showed Spanish small businesses face the highest bank borrowing costs in almost four years – while interest rates paid by German rivals are at record lows.
The sharply diverging interest rates have put southern European companies increasingly at a competitive disadvantage to their northern European rivals.
They provide a gloomy backdrop to this week’s ECB governing council meeting, which will discuss plans for intervening in eurozone government debt markets, as investors price in the chance of a break-up of the 14-year old monetary union.
David Riley, head of sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings, said: “The fragmentation is getting worse. If this trend gains even greater momentum we’ll face a fundamental reordering of the eurozone. It undercuts the whole rationale of the euro, and could eventually make it easier for it to break up.”