Spain has emphatically denied that it is in talks with the eurozone over financial assistance to lower its borrowing costs.
That followed a Reuters report which said though there had been no final decision, Madrid was talking to its eurozone partners about condition for aid.
Spain’s deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, speaking after the weekly cabinet meeting, told reporters: “In case there was any doubt, the European Commission’s spokesman for Economic Affairs signalled that the Commission is not holding any negotiation with Spain beyond the aid awarded to support Spanish banks. There is no negotiation under way for any type of aid to Spain. The spokesman for economic affairs has said it and I’m confirming it today.”
Madrid is now toughening the conditions for its struggling banks who will get the up to 100 billion euros in aid Brussels has promised.
Spain’s central bank is to be given new powers to intervene more rapidly when lenders are in trouble.
The country’s 14 biggest banks are being independently audited now to see how bad a state they’re in and what aid they might need. The result of the audit will be known in September
The weekly cabinet meeting brought welcome news for Spain’s long-term unemployed.
The government said it will not scrap a 400 euro monthly payment for people without jobs whose unemployment benefits have run out.
Instead it will tighten conditions for the subsidy, potentially reducing those eligible for it. People living with parents or grandparents will no longer get the money.