A formal request remains a necessary condition for IMF’s intervention in Spain, senior official confirms

The decision as to whether Spain will ask for a bail-out will be left to the Spanish government, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund has confirmed.

Following the IMF’s first monitoring mission of the banking sector in the country, the institution found that important progress has been made in reforming the financial sector and that it’s important to maintain that momentum in the challenging period ahead.

“On the reforms that Spain is undertaking, we think that they are headed in the right direction and the key now is implementation,” said Gerry Rice, director at the IMF, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C.

Questioned on the growing popularity in Italian political circles against some of the austerity measures proposed by the Italian government, Rice added that the measures announced and being undertaken by the Italian government are headed in the right direction with the objectives of overcoming the current difficulties, restoring growth, bringing back employment and that the key is implementation which is underway.

Finally, Rice confirmed that a formal request will be a sine qua non condition for the involvement of the IMF in any country.

“What we’ve also said specifically on the OMT and broader support is that the IMF stands ready to support within our frameworks and again contingent on country requests, I think the modalities and the process of doing that would be something to be worked out at the appropriate moment,” he said.

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