Spain is requesting a 100 billion euro bailout form its partners but not until it provides a clearer idea of the amount of capital needed from independent audits, which will report next week.
The country indicated during a conference call of the euro zone’s 17 finance ministers that it wanted aid for its banks but would not specify the amount until two independent consultants deliver their assessment of the capital needs some time before June 21.
“They want the aid, but they’ll only say how much in a few days’ time,” one of the sources told Reuters.
A bailout for Spain’s teetering banks, once requested by Madrid, could amount to as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion), two senior EU sources told Reuters, although they emphasized that the final request could be much less than that.
Earlier, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker called for a “quick solution” which, once it led Madrid to ask the currency bloc for help, would make it the fourth country to seek assistance since Europe’s debt crisis began.
One source who was on an earlier Saturday call to discuss the technicalities of a rescue said Spain did not want International Monetary Fund involved in the package for its banks. But it is unlikely to get its way with IMF oversight required even though it will not be putting up any money.
Euro zone policymakers are eager to shore up Spain’s position before June 17 elections which could push Greece closer to a euro zone exit and unleash a wave of contagion.
Spanish Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria repeated on Saturday the government’s argument that it should not act until it sees a separate audit of the banking system due by consultants Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger.
The government has already spent 15 billion euros bailing out small regional savings banks that lent recklessly to property developers.
Spain’s biggest failed bank, Bankia, will cost 23.5 billion euros to rescue and its shareholders have been wiped out.