ECB inflation fight splits North, South

North-South tensions grew in Europe over interest-rate policy as Spain's prime minister criticized the European Central Bank for signaling it might raise rates. Just the suggestion by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet pushed up lending costs by 32 basis points to 5.24%. Nearly all Spanish mortgages are on variable rates and the country is in a housing slump. But the ECB is focused on preventing the spread of inflation.

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