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Property bubble baffles Spanish
Recent interest rate rises in Britain have shown how a single country's central bank can retain a margin of manoeuvre to control a property boom.
In eurozone countries it is infinitely more difficult - and no more so than in Spain.
Paul Betts, Financial Times August 19 2004
Property prices there have risen even faster than in the UK. Since 1998, the cost of an average home has shot up by 118 per cent.
Favourable borrowing costs coupled with despondency over stock and bond markets have had similar effects in Italy and France - but nothing like in Spain, where borrowing costs have fallen to 3.25 per cent, below Spain's above-average eurozone inflation rate of 3.5 per cent.