The up to 100 billion euros ($122.7 billion) in aid the Eurogroup has approved for Spain's troubled banks will be disbursed over the next 18 months, with the first tranche due by the end of July, the Spanish economy minister said here Tuesday.
The 30 billion euros ($36.7 billion) to be released this month is a "kind of security cushion," Luis de Guindos told a press conference in Brussels after a meeting of European Union economy and finance ministers.
Those funds could be injected into Spanish banks "very speedily" once the specific needs of the respective institutions are determined, the Spanish official said.
Of Spain's 16 Eurogroup partners, only Finland is demanding that Madrid post collateral before the Spanish banks receive aid, De Guindos said, adding that because decisions about use of funds from the European Financial Stability Facility require unanimity, the Finns will receive "all the guarantees" they require.
The framework approved in Brussels calls for Spanish banks seeking assistance to present restructuring plans subject to approval by the European Commission.
Banks in need of Eurogroup funds will also have to force their shareholders to bear a portion of losses.
"This implies that the banks must contribute to the restructuring to the extent possible with their own resources and that they will establish internal rescue mechanisms," De Guindos said.
Compensation limits will be imposed on executives of nationalized and aid-receiving banks and "bad banks" will be created as depositaries for the worst of the toxic assets - mainly loans to homebuyers and developers.
Tuesday's accord likewise requires the Spanish government to quickly present the European Commission with plans to shut down banks that are deemed not viable.
Those plans must be compatible with the goals of maintaining financial stability and minimizing the cost to taxpayers.
EU finance ministers agreed on Monday to give Spain an extra year to bring its budget deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product.
Madrid will be permitted to run a deficit of 6.3 percent this year and to meet the below-3-percent target in 2014, rather than in 2013, as originally mandated.
Meanwhile, the conservative government in Madrid has signaled further steps to reduce the deficit.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's administration is considering an increase in value added tax as a part of a broader shift away from taxing labor, Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said Monday.
Spain's economy has been battered by the global recession and the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble, which has left banks saddled with toxic property assets.
The overall unemployment rate stands at almost 25 percent and nearly half of Spaniards under 25 are jobless, while tens of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes after falling behind on their mortgages.
Rajoy's administration says it will take new steps soon to bolster growth, but it must balance that aim with its commitments to slashing the budget deficit. EFE