First, Spain as a nation state is manifestly coming apart at the seams under the pressure of rising unemployment and crippling austerity, with Catalonia now openly threatening to secede. Spain's age-old battle between the forces of regionalism and centralism is back with a vengeance.

Second, an unholy alliance of Northern states -- Germany, Holland and Finland -- has reneged on promises of direct support from European bail-out funds for the beleaguered Spanish banking industry.

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