MADRID -- Finance ministers of countries that use the common European currency on Saturday offered Spain a lifeline of up to 100 billion euros to stabilize its banks.
Spain announced after a three-hour video conference call that it would become the fourth and largest nation to request assistance, but officials did not specify the size of the assistance fund.
Finance ministers from the 17 nations that use the euro later issued a statement saying Spain's formal request would come "shortly," and that up to 100 billion euros, $125 billion at the current exchange rate, would be provided from Europe's rescue funds.
Spanish Economy Minister Luis De Guindos did not indicate how much of that Spain would accept. But if Spain accepts the full amount, that would be larger than previous bailouts for Portugal and Ireland, but still much smaller than that provided to Greece.
Portugal has received 78 billion euros, Ireland 85 billion and Greece about 240 billion.
-- Lauren Frayer
Photo: A somewhat tattered Spanish flag flies outside the Bankia headquarters in Madrid last week. Bankia is among the institutions in line for bailout funds. Credit: Kiko Huesca / EPA