Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain continued to hold off in requesting a bailout for the country’s banks, citing lower interest rates in the wake of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to commit to unlimited bond purchases.
As eurozone finance ministers gathered in Nicosia, Cyprus, for a meeting to discuss, among other things, Spain’s potential need for aid, Rajoy has held back, and said earlier in the week that he would not allow the European Union to decree how much could be spent on such necessities as pensions and health care.
Bloomberg reported Friday that Rajoy said there was no rush to request a bailout, which would come with tough conditions, now that the ECB has said it will buy bonds. That action drove down the interest rates that have been so crippling to Madrid, and Rajoy says he hopes that lower rates will make it possible for Spain to avoid a bailout altogether.
However, finance ministers were preparing to discuss not just Spain’s needs, but Greece’s as well. They were preparing to hear a report from the troika made up of the European Commission (EC), the ECB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who have been preparing data on Greece’s financial situation in advance of a decision on whether to release the next tranche of funding in its bailout.