Banks and euro backers are relieved about the up-to-$125 billion Spanish bailout, but not everyone is so thrilled. A throng of protesters hit the streets in Madrid yesterday to protest billions going to prop up Spanish banks instead of helping people suffering because of the mad risks taken by financial institutions, notes CBS. "Why should they rescue the banks when our children are starving?" asked one placard outside a Bankia branch in Madrid's Plaza de Celenque, reports the Telegraph. "This is not a rescue for Spain, it's a rescue for the rich. The poor will only get poorer and suffer even more in the months to come," said one resident.
But investors are breathing easier today after the rescue package, which Spanish officials are refusing to characterize as a bailout. Trading was up in Asia and early Europe activity, and the euro rose 1% against the dollar and Japanese yen in Asian trading, notes the BBC. But Europe is far from out of the woods. The surprisingly large sum of the Spanish package is a sign of the continuing "degree of strain within the European banking system," said one financial analyst. "It reflects the fairly dire straits within which Europe continues to find itself." The next blip Europe will have to deal with is the coming Greek elections, and what kind of economic policies might emerge from them.