UPDATE 1-Spanish bailout fund use reasonable option-Nowotny

Thu Jun 7, 2012 2:40am IST

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* Spanish use of bailout funds would be reasonable-Nowotny

* Good Spanish banks being affected by problem cases

* Important to act as quickly as possible - Nowotny (Adds quotes, background)

VIENNA, June 6 (Reuters) - Any Spanish request to tap European bailout funds would be a "reasonable option" that could help restore trust in the country's banking sector, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny told Austrian television.

Asked in an interview whether Spain should seek outside help, Nowotny said: "I think that is a reasonable option ... That is why the safety net is there, and I think that would then strengthen confidence in Spanish banks."

Some Spanish banks such as Bankia had got into trouble, but there were also very good Spanish banks that were being affected by the problem cases, he said on Wednesday.

Germany and European Union officials are exploring ways to rescue Spain's debt-stricken banks although Madrid has not yet requested assistance and is resisting being placed under international supervision, European sources have said.

"I think it is generally agreed that one must act as quickly as possible here, although one has to know in advance where the problem areas are," Nowotny said, adding one of the problems was no one knew exactly how much support Spanish banks needed.

He declined to be drawn on what might happen should elections in Greece this month produce victors who are opposed to the bailout programme the country has drawn up with international partners.

"You can help a country only if that country is ready to cooperate ... If the readiness is not there, Greece must bear the consequences," which would be that Greece would have great difficulty raising fresh money, he said.

He urged politicians to follow through more urgently on steps that have already been agreed to address the euro zone's debt crisis, saying it was "disquieting" that only four countries had so far ratified the European Stability Mechanism permanent bailout fund. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)