World / Europe

Eurozone to help Spanish banks at request

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-08 09:37

BRUSSELS - Support would come if Spain officially asks for help to prop up its crisis-riven banks, head of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.

"If it came to it and Spain asked for support for its banking sector, that would obviously be done," Juncker told reporters as he left a meeting in Brussels. However, "it is too early to spend time on figures" for any rescue plan, as there had been not request, he added.

Juncker's offer of support came just as international rating agency Fitch cut Spain's sovereign credit rating by three notches to BBB, citing the country's banking crisis, economic recession and surging public debt.

However, Juncker refused to comment on whether the financial aid would be channeled directly to Spain's bailout fund or through the Spanish government, saying "This is a legal problem."

During the meeting, Juncker sent a stark warning about the situation in the euro area. "We are in a real stress moment," and "these are crucial days and weeks" both for the European Union (EU) and the eurozone, he said at the meeting.

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