GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Europe’s fourth largest economy, Spain is expected on Saturday 9 June to ask Europe for assistance for its failing banks, according to senior European Union and German sources , Reuters reports.
The news agency reports that four EU officials said that a conference call is scheduled for Saturday afternoon to discuss a Spanish aid package, which would represent the fourth member state to ask for EU assistance. Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already received €432 billion from the EU, in addition to €48.5 billion of funds to Portugal and Ireland from the International Monetary Fund.
An unnamed spokesperson to Spanish president Mariano Rajoy told El Pais, that he had “no comment on speculations” and referred to recent comments by the head of state saying that the government was awaiting auditors’ reports on the country’s major banks before taking any decisions.
On Thursday 7 June, rating agency Fitch lowered Spain’s credit rating three notches down from A to BBB, just two notches above junk status, and warned that the country was “vulnerable to contagion”.
Earlier this week, Spain’s economy minister Luis de Guindos denied that any immediate plans existed to seek a bailout.