The FINANCIAL -- Spain's embattled Prime
Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday the nation had no choice but to
seek a vast eurozone rescue loan for stricken banks because it could not
raise the cash alone.
The conservative leader, who faced ridicule in parliament for refusing to describe the aid as a rescue, said he inherited a banking system in crisis when his conservative government took power in December last year.
Finance ministers of the 17 eurozone nations struck a deal in a video conference Saturday to extend Spain a banking sector rescue loan of up 100 billion euros ($125 billion).
"I am very satisfied because Spain at this time does not have the 100 billion euros nor, as you know, can it issue public debt," Rajoy told parliament.
Spain was acting three years late because the previous Socialist government had failed to recapitalise the banks in 2009 when the rest of Europe was doing so, he told opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.
"In Spain in 2009, for reasons you should know, they did not want to do that, they told us we had the best financial system in the world and now it has been shown that we don't," Rajoy said.
"That's why we went to the European Union, the European Union is going to lend us 100 billion euros and those 100 billion euros will be used for the banks," he said.
Banks would have to repay the money, the premier stressed.
"It is a credit for the banking system that the banking system itself will have to pay, and we should celebrate the fact that our European partners have helped us."
According to EUbusiness, the premier was mocked for his refusal to describe the bailout loan as a rescue.
Rosa Diez, spokeswoman and founder of the Union, Progress and Democracy, urged Rajoy to pronounce the word.
"Nothing will happen to you for admitting the truth, for doing in parliament, and for calling the rescue a rescue. Say it with me -- rescue. Limited rescue, financial rescue, light rescue, marvellous rescue, but rescue," Diez said.
"Nothing is going to happen to you if you say it. On the contrary, if you say it we will be the best situation to start to face up to the solution to the problem."