Brussels 'not in bailout talks' with other countries
There are no discussions about more countries seeking EU financial aid following Ireland's request for help, the European Commission said yesterday (25 November), following reports that Portugal was under pressure to seek aid.
The Commission played down reports that a majority of eurozone nations and the European Central Bank were urging Portugal to apply for a financial bailout from a European rescue fund, as reported by the Financial Times Deutschland.
Without revealing its sources, the newspaper said a number of eurozone countries were putting pressure on Portugal to seek aid in order to save Spain - with its much larger economy - from having to do the same.
The paper quoted a source in Germany's finance ministry as saying: "If Portugal were to use the fund, it would be good for Spain, because the country is heavily exposed to Portugal."
Many analysts believe Portugal will follow Ireland in seeking financial assistance from the European rescue fund, and there are fears that Spain might be forced to follow suit
Separately, European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said earlier this week that he believed eurozone states could come up with more money if the existing 750-billion-euro EU-IMF safety net ever were to prove insufficient.
But asked if European Union emergency funding facilities could be boosted if more countries applied for EU assistance, Commission spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said there were no talks at the moment.
"The financial backstops are in place, they are well funded and they are ready to be used if necessary and if requested. There are no discussions currently in that direction," Altafaj said.
(EurActiv with Reuters.)