AP, ICN, EL MUNDO

LONDON - In the latest hit for a euro-zone economy, Fitch ratings agency downgraded Cyprus' sovereign credit grade to junk status, lowering the country's rating by one notch to BB+ from BBB-, AP reports.

"Fitch acknowledges that its estimates of the losses and capital needs of Cypriot banks are subject to considerable uncertainty and are conservative," the agency said. "Nonetheless, in Fitch's opinion, Cypriot banks will require substantial injections of capital in order to secure confidence in their financial stability."

The downgrade comes amid concerns after Spain officially asked for an aid for its troubled banking sector which is suffering from large amount of bad loans, ICN reports.

Madrid-based daily El Mundo reported that European officials are set to arrive in the Spanish capital "very soon" to hammer out the details of the conditions that will be attached to the bank rescue.

Worries about Cyprus and Spain are intensifying before this week's much awaited EU summit, where European leaders will try to reach an integrated banking union and more flexibility in how the European rescue fund can be applied.

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Coronavirus

Texas In Germany? Saxony Mixes Anti-Vaxxers And Far-Right Politics

When it comes to vaccination rates, there are striking parallels between Germany and the United States. The states with the most opposition to vaccines differ politically from those with the highest vaccination rates. Now the consequences for booster shots are starting to become visible, especially in the United States.

A protest in Saxony last year against COVID-19 restrictions

Zentralbild/dpa via ZUMA
Daniel Friedrich Sturm

-Analysis-

WASHINGTON — Ok, so Saxony was singled out last week in a New York Times article as an example of the disastrous vaccination situation in parts of Europe. The article talks about the link between anti-vaxxers and the political success of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the eastern German state.

In a sense, Saxony is Germany's Texas. For instance, 59% of U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated, but in strictly Republican Texas, where Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the 2020 election, this figure stands at 54%.

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