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Spain's economy minister rules out mergers of nationalized banks


08:22, March 12, 2013

MADRID, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos said on Monday there will not be mergers among the nationalized banks.

De Guindos, who made these comments on a Spanish television, pointed out that Bankia, Novagalicia Banco and Catalunya Banc, three nationalized financial entities, will not be merged.

Its privatization must be assured in the coming future, said the minister, who pointed out there will be a coordination regarding their behavior.

The minister said these nationalized entities were "healthy" and "solvent" while assuring they had "a lot of liquidity".

Specifically, Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, was qualified by the minister as "one of the healthiest and most solvent banks in Europe" because toxic assets were separated from the healthy ones, said the minister, while comparing this case with the rest of the nationalized financial entities.

Bankia was born in 2012 as a result of a merger between Caja Madrid and other five smaller saving banks, a process qualified by de Guindos as a "mistake".

De Guindos said the Spanish economy will start growing by the end of 2013 and insisted on the fact that the government will not raise taxes, instead they will decrease if the situation of the public deficit improves.

The European Union (EU) had recommended Spain to raise sales and environmental taxes to combat the fiscal deficit of the country and the Spanish government insisted that no further measures were required on this issue.

Meanwhile the Eurogroup discusses on Monday whether Spain is fulfilling conditions required to receive the aid of 37 billion euros (48 billion U.S. dollars) to recapitalize its banking system.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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