News Summary: Spain faces decision on bailout
CALMER NOW: Spain's borrowing costs have fallen sharply since the European Central Bank said it would buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to help countries that are being strangled by their debts. But it risks a reversal of fortune if it doesn't ask for help and shoulder the conditions of a rescue.
THE REACTION: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said last week that Spain may not need outside help now that the interest rates on its bonds have fallen to more manageable levels. He is leery of the strings that could be attached to any help from the ECB — including a possible mandate for further budget cutting.
THE DANGER: Spain's economy is shrinking, its banks are struggling under the weight of a collapsed real estate market and the debts of its regional governments are piling higher. Unemployment is almost 25 percent.