Euro tumbled to a new 22-month low against the U.S. dollar in the U.S. trading session on Friday after news reports of Spain’s wealthiest autonomous region, Catalonia, asking for financial aid to refinance its debt this year, raising fears about contagion within the euro zone.
Catalonia President Artur Mas said that the region requires financial aid from the central Spanish government in order to refinance debt.
“We don’t care how they do it, but we need to make payments at the end of the month. Your economy can’t recover if you can’t pay your bills,” Mas, of the centre-right Convergence and Union Party, told the media.
Catalonia, which represents one fifth of the Spanish economy, has a deficit and more than 13 billion euros in debt to refinance this year. This raises concerns that Spain will need an international bailout.
EURUSD plunged to 1.2495 at 13:19 GMT, its weakest level since July 2010.