Spain ready to sign first rescue aid request

Spain’s government is ready to proceed with the formal request to receive the first payment of the €100bn aid tranche granted to the country by the eurozone.

A spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry confirmed to the local press that the request will be sent shortly, and that the money will be initially allocated to support the country’s troubled lenders Bankia, Catalunya Caixa, NovaGalicia Banco and Banco de Valencia.

The eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, has already put aside an emergency reserve of €30bn, but any payment to the country will have to be allowed first by all other eurozone members.

The main part of the €100bn loan is expected to be paid from November onwards.

Meanwhile, the level of bad loans rose held by Spanish banks reached a record high in June, increasing by €8.4bn to €164.4bn.

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