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Fitch Ratings slashed Spain's sovereign credit rating by three notches Thursday, citing ballooning estimates of the cost of a banking crisis, mushrooming debt and a deepening recession.
The long-term rating was chopped to BBB from A and left with a negative outlook, said Fitch, swooping as expectations mounted that the Europe Union would have to throw a lifeline to Spanish banks.
"The likely cost of restructuring and recapitalising the Spanish banking sector is now estimated by Fitch to be around 60 billion euros ($75 billion) and as high as 100 billion euros in a more severe stress scenario," it said.