The euro has been sliding against the US dollar for weeks. Concerns about the public finances of eurozone countries Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, the so-called “PIGS,” have emerged in financial markets. Greece is facing the severest crisis, with its 10-year bond yield approaching 7%. The Greek government estimates its budget deficit at 12.7% of GDP in 2009. Gross government debts amount to 113% of its GDP. If the interest rate Greece has to pay for its debts keeps rising, the country may have to default on its obligations.