Spanish Banks to Get Rescue Funds

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A woman walks past defaced Bankia sign in Madrid

BBCSpain is to get loans to help shore up its struggling banks, its economy minister has confirmed.

He was speaking following an emergency meeting of eurozone finance ministers, reports the BBC.

Luis de Guindos said Spain had agreed to officially request assistance from eurozone rescue funds.

He did not say how much the financial system would get, but he said it would be “significantly” more than the 40bn euros ($50bn; £32bn) recommended by the International Monetary Fund.

Spain had been reluctant to ask for a full bailout, like the one given to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, as they come with demands for tax rises and spending cuts.

de Guindos said one of the conditions of the the loans was the restructuring of the financial system, but not “micro-economic conditions”. “The conditions are for the banks,” he said.

“We hope that as a result of these injections [of capital] families and companies will have more solvent banks which are able to offer them credit, which they are not able to do at the moment,” he told a news conference.

Spain was keen to ensure that any assistance went direct to its banks, rather than to the central government. As a result, the loans will go to its bank restructuring agency, called FROB. But this would still considered state debt, de Guindos said.

No decision had been made on exactly who would disburse the funds, he said, but he suggested this would be one of the European rescue funds, the EFSF or the ESM.


Ex-Super Eagles Star, Obodo, Abducted in Warri

CAPTION:  Juventus’ midfielder Claudio Marchisio (R) fights for the ball with Lecce’s Nigerian midfielder Christian Obodo (photo attached)

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Christian Obodo has been abducted in Warri, his family confirmed Saturday.

The player’s family said Obodo, who last season played for Lecce in Italy’s Serie A, was driving alone in his car following a visit to a relative when he was taken by unknown gunmen, reports AFP.

“His whereabouts are unknown but his car was left behind by the kidnappers. We are yet to receive any call demanding a ransom,” said a family member, under condition of anonymity.

Last season Obodo, who has not featured for the Eagles for quite some time, played on loan at Lecce from Serie A side Udinese. Lecce were relegated to Serie AB on May 13 after finishing third from bottom of Italy’s top flight.

Unfortunately the 28-year-old midfielder is not the first footballer to be abducted in Nigeria.

The brother of Everton defender, Joseph Yobo was kidnapped before he was later freed, while most recently the father of Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi was also abducted before he was freed after a police raid.

A brief statement from Lecce said: “We hope the situation can be resolved as soon as possible in the best possible way.”

Obodo’s brother, Kenneth Obodo, who is also a footballer in Italy and is currently in Nigeria, was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying: “Christian is fine. We are in touch with the kidnappers, who want some money.

“We can’t give them more than 100,000 euros ($125,000). Unfortunately these things happen in our country.”

His brother-in-law, Obidike Okechukwu, was quoted by ANSA as saying that the kidnappers had asked for a ransom of 150,000 euros.

In : Finance

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