Spain is to get a multi-billion euro aid package to help out its troubled banks.
The Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the country was looking for support not a rescue, and the aid would only be for the financial sector.
The deal was agreed during an emergency two-and-a-half hour conference call of eurozone finance ministers.
The eurogroup says the aid could be worth up to 100 billion euros, though the exact amount will be determined after independent audits are completed.
“The ambitious reform programme put in place by the Spanish government has received the support of our European colleagues and we are convinced that these reforms, together with the fiscal adjustment which is taking place, are establishing the basis for economic recovery and job creation,” Luis de Guindos told a news conference.
Madrid will now make a formal request for assistance.
The government is stressing that this is no bailout like those received by Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
The aid is only for the banking sector, said the economy minister, not the whole economy.
No austerity plan is being asked for in return.
“Of course it (this aid) is subject to a restructuring plan, there are financial conditions, what there are not are any kind of macroeconomic conditions. There are no conditions for fiscal or economic reforms outside the sphere of the financial sector,” Luis de Guindos said.
Spain has been under pressure to act before next weekend’s highly unpredictable Greek elections. If the result prompts another crisis in the eurozone, Spain could be next in the firing line.
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