Spain set to seek austerity measures
Spain was on the verge of asking for a bailout for its teetering banks last night - with EU experts predicting the package could be as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion).
A crunch conference call of Eurogroup finance ministers was held on Saturday - with Spain expected to ask the currency bloc for help with recapitalising its banks, becoming the fourth nation to seek assistance since Europe’s debt crisis began.
Asked if he expected Spain to request help, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said: “I think that is everybody's assessment.” The International Monetary Fund has already stated it believes Spain needs at least $50 billion in order to help ease its crippled banks.
Spain, with a population of 46 million people, is the world's 12th largest economy and number four in the euro zone.
The Spanish government has already spent $18.7 billion
bailing out small regional savings banks that lent recklessly to property developers.
Spain’s biggest failed bank, Bankia, whose shareholders have been wiped out, will cost $29.5 billion to rescue.