Spain in Pain

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Spain first to leave Euro?

Spain's credit rating was cut as government efforts to reduce debt would weigh down economic growth.

The ratings agency dealt a blow to state efforts to shore up confidence in its finances by cutting the country's rating one notch from AAA to AA plus. The decision echoed economists' concerns that efforts to cut state debt would hinder growth.

Europe's top job-creator only two years ago, Spain now has the region's highest unemployment rate, at just over 20 percent, and is the slowest of the major economies to emerge from the global recession.

Countries across the European Union -- including Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Greece and non-euro member Britain -- have also announced spending cuts and tax increases to maintain public confidence in their ability to manage their finances. But the measures have drawn protests and criticism from union leaders, particularly in Greece.

European bookmaker Paddy Power  has odds on which country will be first to leave the Euro, as well as odds on when the Euro will reach parity with the US Dollar with 2011 now a quite likely 5/2 shot. Paddy Power said "As rumours spread about how several countries are keen to quit the euro its becoming increasing likely that the 16-nation currency may soon unravel"

First Country to Leave the Euro

11/8 Greece

13/8 Portugal

8/1 Spain

8/1 Italy

8/1 Ireland

12/1 Germany

12/1 France

14/1 Slovakia

14/1 Slovenia

16/1 Cyprus

16/1 Malta

20/1 Austria

20/1 Belgium

20/1 Finland

20/1 Luxembourg

20/1 Netherlands

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