Spain says bond rates jump due to EU growth doubts

MADRID (AP) — Spain's economy minister says the jump in interest rates demanded for Spanish and other eurozone bonds is due largely to market nervousness over economic growth in Europe.

Luis de Guindos told Spanish National Radio the release of poor growth figures in Europe showed the recession could be deeper than previously thought and "makes markets think it will be much more difficult to fulfill budget-deficit targets."

De Guindos insisted Thursday, however, that a bailout for Spain "was not on the table."

Interest rates for Spanish bonds have shot up recently on concerns about the government's ability to push through a big austerity program and reduce its deficit.

Markets were closed for the Good Friday holiday and those in Spain will remain closed Monday.