Spain easily raised euro 4 billion ($5.19 billion) in an auction of short-term debt, reflecting a relaxation in market pressure as the country continues to weigh up a European Central Bank promise to help lower the country's borrowing costs. The Treasury sold euro 2.61 billion in six-month bonds on an average interest rate of 1.67 percent, down from 2.02 percent in the last such auction Oct. 23.
Spaniards are angered by austerity measures, including budget cuts and plans to partly privatize some of their country's cherished national health service. Spain's regions have a combined debt of euro 145 billion ($185 billion) and some euro 36 billion must be refinanced this year. The country is trying to avoid following Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus in having to ask for an international financial bailouts.