EU Denies Receiving Spanish Aid Request
08/08/2012| 07:35am US/Eastern
BRUSSELS--The European Commission hasn't received any request from Spain to activate a special tranche of emergency aid for the country's debt-stricken banks, a spokesman said when asked about reports in the Spanish media.
"The commission can confirm very clearly that at this stage we have not received any request from Spanish authorities for emergency aid, or from Spanish banks under the program of assistance for banks," European Union commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told reporters.
Spanish banks will likely receive a first tranche of EU aid of 30 billion euros ($37.2 billion) in the next few days, El Pais reported in its Internet edition Wednesday, citing sources at the Spanish finance ministry.
Funds will be disbursed after the commission concludes its restructuring plan for a first group of banks, expected by October, although the initial tranche could be paid out earlier if an additional request comes from Spain, he said.
The memorandum of understanding signed with Spain for the banking bailout "states very clearly there's an emergency procedure and it's therefore possible to use this first tranche, which is EUR 30 billion," before the analysis has been completed--but only if Spain asks.
"For this, the commission would have had to receive a well-grounded, quantified request from Spain and this request would have to be approved by the EU commission, Eurogroup Working Group, and the European Central Bank," he said. "At this stage we have not received any such request from Spain, asking us to activate this."
A first batch of EU funds will go to those banks that have been nationalized, including Bankia SA (>> Bankia SA), CatalunyaCaixa, Novagalicia and Banco de Valencia (>> Banco de Valencia SA), El Pais reported.
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