After several weeks of speculation, the government of Spain this weekend confirmed that money would be accepted to help support the country’s banking system.
Spain’s politicians have been at pains to point out that this is not a bailout of the kind witnessed in countries such as Greece and Ireland where outside officials will effectively be making decisions about the countries’ public finances.
Spanish minsters have clearly been briefed to communicate the distinction as the following quotes from Mr de Guindos, the economy minister, in the initial Financial Times article indicate:
- “What is being requested is financial assistance. It has nothing to do with a rescue”
- “The conditions will be applied to the banks, not Spanish society”
I’d argue that Spanish ministers have effectively made their point but in a situation which continues to develop at pace, and where details are easily forgotten, they may well be lumped together with those who have requested funds before as the dust begins to settle on the decision. As a collegue pointed out, it could well be seen as an exercise in putting lipstick on PIGS…