Mar 2, 2015 12:00 PM

Spain: 3rd bailout for Greece being mulled for up to $56B

The Associated Press

MADRID (AP) Eurozone nations are negotiating a third bailout for financially strapped Greece that would give the country as much as 50 billion euros ($56 billion), Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Monday.

The bailout would provide between 30 billion and 50 billion euros and its "central scenario for Greece is a deal on the basis of the current bailout, and new conditions to be set with flexibility," de Guindos said at an economic conference in the northeastern city of Pamplona.

"Greece will not leave the eurozone," the minister said. "That would not be good for Greece and for the eurozone."

He made the announcement a day after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy responded angrily to his Greek counterpart's claim that Spain and Portugal have formed "an axis of forces" trying to overthrow Greece's newly elected far left government.

Rajoy on Sunday said neither Spain nor Portugal were "responsible for the frustration" generated by Greece's new government, led by the Syriza party.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had singled out Spain and Portugal countries as "aggressive European conservative forces" whose plan was "the wear and tear of our government" and its overthrow.

Rajoy countered by saying that Syriza had "promised the Greeks something they knew that they would not be able to deliver."

Rajoy also said that Spain, despite its own financial crisis, had aided Greece by lending it "more than 26 billion euros ($29 billion)."

Tamping down speculation that Greece might exit the eurozone, de Guindos said "there is no alternative to Greece to European solidarity."

De Guindos said Europe has "not been stingy" with Greece, adding that Spaniards "paid 26 billion euros directly or indirectly to Greece. No one can say that Spain was not supportive."


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