Merkel says won't pressure Spain to seek bailout

BERLIN, June 8 Fri Jun 8, 2012 5:21pm IST

BERLIN, June 8 (Reuters) - Germany will not pressure Spain to apply for an international bailout, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, after reports that Madrid was expected to request European aid for its ailing banks at the weekend.

"It is always clear that those countries that want to (make use of) solidarity make the request themselves," she told a news conference with visiting New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

"It's down to the individual countries to turn to us," said Merkel. "That has not happened so far and therefore will not exert any pressure here or anything."

Merkel said that the euro zone had put in place a "bundle of measures" that could be called upon in such a case -- including its rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, and its permanent successor -- to ensure the stability of the euro zone and increase the bloc's competitiveness.

Merkel said she wanted Greece to remain a member of the euro zone but whichever party wins a June 17 election must stick to a memorandum of understanding agreed with international lenders.

"We told all Greek parties, that's necessary. This memorandum is so to speak the basis for successful development," she said.

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