• Spain's news in English

Greece heading towards third bailout: Spain

AFP · 4 Mar 2015, 17:09

Published: 04 Mar 2015 17:09 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, one of the frontrunners to take over the presidency of the Eurogroup of finance ministers this year, said "unfortunately it is not very likely" that Greece will be able to return to finance markets.

"If Greece cannot gain access to the markets between now and June... we must establish a new agreement with Greece. We can call it an agreement, accord, pact, programme, but it is that," he told reporters at an economic forum in Barcelona.

"It will be a line of credit associated with conditions, as usual," he added.

The European Union has played down talk of any new bailout, insisting that it was still finalising details of the four-month extension of Greece's current EU-IMF programme until June, which was agreed on last week.

Eurozone finance ministers, who are due to meet in Brussels next week, "are not discussing any third aid programme," Simone Boitelle, spokeswoman for Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, told AFP on Tuesday.

De Guindos on Monday had fuelled speculation that a third bailout was in the works when he told journalists in Spain that EU officials estimated a rescue package of up to €50 billion ($55 billion) could be needed to keep Greece afloat and avoid a painful exit from the euro.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday played down any talk of a third rescue package, saying the EU was focused on completing Greece's current bailout.

"We are currently doing all that we possibly can to ensure that the second programme be successful," Merkel told a press conference in Brussels after talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

"The Troika (of Greece's creditors, the EU, ECB and IMF) is going to assess all of this and I think we've got plenty to be getting on with to make this agreement work, that's what I want to focus on."

Juncker added that it was "really premature to be talking in terms of a third programme, that's speculation and I think it's best avoided."

Accepting an additional life-line would amount to a major U-turn for Greece's new hard-left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who swept to power in January on the promise that Athens would end the era of bailouts and their associated austerity requirements.

Story continues below…

De Guindos' comments come in the wake of acrimonious swipes between Greece and several eurozone partners - foremost Spain.

The barbs began flying after Tsipras accused Spain and Portugal over the weekend of having sought to cut off EU funding to Greece during negotiations last month on the four-month extension to Athens.

Tsipras claimed the two conservative-ruled countries had sought to undermine Greece's anti-austerity government. Germany labelled Tsipras's comments "unusual foul play," while officials in Spain and Portugal responded with retorts of their own.

Greece had two international bailouts in 2010 and 2012 worth €240 billion - which staved off bankruptcy and kept the country in the euro, but at the cost of punishing economic reforms.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available