BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Spain will make a formal request for aid from its euro zone partners “shortly” and will receive up to 100 billion euros once that request is made, the euro zone’s 17 finance ministers said in a statement on Saturday.
After a conference call that lasted more than 2-1/2 hours, the ministers said the financial assistance would be provided from either of the euro zone’s rescue mechanisms, the EFSF and the ESM, and would go to recapitalise Spain’s worst banks.
“The Eurogroup has been informed that the Spanish authorities will present a formal request shortly and is willing to respond favourably to such a request,” the statement said.
“The loan amount must cover estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as summing up to 100 billion euros.”
Spain is waiting for the results of an independent audit of its bank capital needs before proceeding. That audit is due by June 21, officials have said.
Once a formal request is made, the capital will be paid to Spain’s bank restructuring fund, known as the FROB, although the Spanish government will “retain the full responsibility of the financial assistance”, the statement said.
The International Monetary Fund will not contribute any funds to the rescue plan, but it has been invited “to support the implementation and monitoring of the financial assistance with regular reporting”, a former of oversight.
Writing by Luke Baker, reporting by Luke Baker and Justyna Pawlak