Arab Today, arab today all eyes on spain as eu finance ministers meet in cyprus
Last Updated : GMT 05:49:56
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

All eyes on Spain as EU finance ministers meet in Cyprus

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today All eyes on Spain as EU finance ministers meet in Cyprus

Nicosia - SPA

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Friday tried to end speculation about whether Madrid will need more financial support, with all eyes on the crisis-battered country at an informal meeting of his European Union counterparts, dpa reported. "Fulfilling Spain's budget goals and reform programme is much more important than whether there will be a rescue or no rescue," he told reporters before the talks in Cyprus, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency. Spain has already been granted a bailout of up to 100 billion euros (130 billion dollars) for its troubled banks, but speculation has been rife that it will also request a market intervention by the European Central Bank (ECB) to keep its borrowing costs in check. De Guindos said the ministers would discuss the conditions for ECB interventions only in general terms, not in the Spanish context. But several of his colleagues said they want answers from Madrid on what it intends to do. EU officials have complained that there have been mixed messages out of the Spanish capital. "I'd like them to set out their position because it hasn't been clear over the summer what their position is," Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said. "We are geared up for all possible phenomenons that we will encounter," Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter added. Madrid still needs to make progress on winning back the trust of financial markets, Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said. "Spain is on the right way, but they have to continue to convince the markets that they have a sound policy for economic reform, as well as budgetary austerity measures," he noted. The eurozone's other problem, Greece, was also expected to be discussed by the ministers, as experts from its troika of international lenders work on assessing its financial progress. Giving Athens more time to meet EU requirements is not out of the question because of an enduring recession, de Jager said. "But not extra money," he quickly added.

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