Investors pay to lend Germany money

BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 30: A flag of the European Union waves in the wind near a traffic light showing red on November 30, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Many European leaders are warning that the growing debt crisis within the Eurozone is reaching critical proportions and that only weeks remain to take decisive action if the Euro is to survive.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

(AP) FRANKFURT, Germany - Investors are paying for the privilege to lend Germany money as they look for a safe haven from the financial and economic crisis hitting the rest of Europe.

Germany auctioned euro5 billion ($6.14 billion) in two-year treasury notes Wednesday with an average interest rate of minus 0.06 percent.

Investors see German bonds as a haven from the turmoil over too much debt in some of the 17 countries that use the euro as their currency.

Eurozone decline dents German economy

Demand for such safe investments is strong because bonds of other governments are no longer seen as risk-free. Spain and Italy are struggling to borrow money at affordable rates, and Greece, Ireland and Portugal have needed bailout loans from the other countries.