Madrid, Spain (4E) – Spain is expected to seek help from the eurozone to recapitalize its ailing banks this weekend, becoming the fourth country to seek assistance since Europe’s debt crisis began.
Officials in Brussels and Berlin report euro finance ministers will hold a conference call on Saturday morning to discuss a Spanish request for aid.
The 17-member eurozone states will issue a statement after the call, which is scheduled to take place before midday.
The move comes after Fitch Ratings slashed Madrid’s sovereign credit rating by three notches to BBB on Thursday, underscoring the Spanish banking sector’s exposure to bad property loans and the ripple effect from fiscally struggling Greece.
Spain is expected to request assistance from the eurozone’s European Financial Stability Facility.
The amount will depend on the results of audits being conducted by the International Monetary Fund and two independent assessors.
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