German finmin spokesman: Spain aid deal unlikely July 9
BERLIN, July 4 |
BERLIN, July 4 (Reuters) - It is unclear whether the Eurogroup will be able to decide on an aid package for Spain's banks at its meeting next Monday as it is still awaiting an expert report on the situation, a German finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding a 100 billion euro European bailout for Spanish banks was initially scheduled for July 9, when euro zone finance ministers hold their monthly meeting in Brussels.
But two sources on Tuesday said that a final agreement on aid for Spanish banks may be delayed until July 20, to allow more time for negotiations.
"With Spain, we are currently at the stage of a request," finance ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus told a regular news conference in Berlin.
Kotthaus said ministers still needed to receive a report on the situation by experts from the European Central Bank and European Union Commision, with support from the International Monetary Fund, before they could make any decisions.
Moreover, Germany could not agree to a memorandum before parliament had voted on the issue. No date has been set yet for the vote, which would be based on the experts' report, but it is expected to take place over the summer.
"Now we will wait for the report, as our next step," he said, adding that it was therefore not clear when the package could be determined.
The Eurogroup finance ministers would still meet on Monday, but Kotthaus said he had "hitherto no indications as to whether they could already decide on this topic on July 9".
"At the moment, I expect the Eurogroup will discuss the topics Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece on Monday," he said.
The MoU is due to specify the maturity and the interest rate of the loans - probably over 15 years and between 3 and 4 percent respectively, according to government sources - as well as the conditions attached to them such as a restructuring of the entire sector and a reform of banking supervision.
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Tuesday that the European lifeline should be made available to the banks within weeks, while Secretary of State for Economy Fernando Jimenez Latorre last week raised the possibility of using "transitory liquidity mechanisms", without providing any detail. (Reporting By Gernot Heller, Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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