The eurozone periphery countries will have to pay more than €130bn this year just to meet the interest payments of their mounting debts, a servicing burden almost three times as high as the rest of the single currency area.
The figures – calculated by the Financial Times from International Monetary Fund data—underscore the deep wounds left by the eurozone crisis in spite of the high demand for peripheral eurozone debt in recent months.
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Although falling bond yields have eased borrowing costs markedly over the past two years, weak economic recoveries and still-extensive budget deficits mean that the interest bill for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain is still climbing.
"High debt levels and economic misery is clearly a political problem," said Ebrahim Rahbari, a senior economist at Citi. "Even if we start to see their debt ratios stabilize and even start to tick down, they will remain extremely high for a long time, which means they're very vulnerable to any further shocks."
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