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      EU Jitters Return as Italian and Spanish Bonds Plummet

      Last week's emergency EU meeting was to have provided a sedative to investors. It wore off in a week.
      By Aryeh ben Hayim
      First Publish: 7/27/2011, 7:57 PM / Last Update: 7/27/2011, 8:56 PM

      Last week's emergency EU meeting in Brussels was supposed to calm down markets and buy substantial time to resolve the European debt crisis. That was last week.

      Now the financial rumbles are being felt by Spanish and Italian bonds. Yields on Spanish ten-year government bonds climbed to 6.08 percent this morning, approaching the point reached before last week's fix. Yields on Italian bonds climbed to 5.793 percent, again approaching last week's high. 

      The resumption of the crisis was triggered by a statement by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to the effect that Germany would not write "any blank checks" to fund bond purchases used in a financial bailout. He also added that "it would be wrong to think that the crisis of trust in the euro area can be conclusively ended by a single summit.”

      The Finance Minister was responding to criticism from Bundestag members from his own Christian Democratic Party for putting Germany in a position where it must underwrite all its neighbors' debts. In responding, he called into question the commitment by euro bloc members to respond to the challenge and effectively undermined the message put out by EU president Herman Van Rompuy last week that the "crisis was behind us".