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Madrid mayor says international rescue is inevitable for Spanish economy

Category : Business

Ana Botella is first high-level official to say publicly that Spain would need financial aid from European Union

The mayor of Madrid, a prominent member of Spain’s ruling party, said on Friday it seemed inevitable that the central government would apply for some kind of international aid package as the country’s borrowing costs soar.

Ana Botella, wife of the former prime minister José Maria Aznar, is the first high-level official to say publicly that Spain would need a financial rescue.

“There’s no doubt about it. It’s very probable that we’re going to have to ask for help from the European Union,” she told the Spanish news agency Europa Press.

“It seems inevitable.”

Spain’s recession-hit economy, shattered banking system and sky-high unemployment are at the centre of concerns over the eurozone as investors worry that a bailout of the bloc’s fourth largest economy would stretch its rescue funds to breaking point.

Prime minister Mariano Rajoy has said he would not take a decision on whether to apply for a new aid package, on top of a €100bn (£78bn) loan for the country’s banks, until he knew what conditions would be attached.

Bad loans rose to a record high in June as assets tied to a deflating property market soured further. In the month Spain sought a 100-billion-euro ($123.63-billion) €100bn European bailout for its struggling lenders, their non-performing loans rose to 9.42% of outstanding portfolios from 8.95% in May, central bank data showed on Friday.

Loans that fell into arrears increased by €8.4bn to €164.4bn.

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