The trading week, dominated by contradictory reports concerning the Spanish bailout, ends with European markets in the green, after the sentiment was boosted on Thursday by ECB's announcement that its bond-buying program could be activated whenever needed. Following the release of the solid US NFP data for September EUR/USD broke above the 1.3030 level.
Samaras and Merkel to meet in Athens next Tuesday
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Greece on October 9 to hold talks with PM Anotnis Samaras. This is the first time since the onset of the crisis that the German leader will visit Athens. Greek labor unions are planning a rally outside the parliament on Tuesday to demonstrate their opposition towards the visit
Earlier on Friday Samaras warned that Greece was running out of funds and that it was crucial for the country to receive the next tranche of the bailout money before the end of November, in order to prevent it from defaulting on its debts. On Saturday the Greek government will meet with Troika inspectors for the last time before the October 8 EcoFin meeting, in an attempt to reach an agreement on the remaining 2 billion euros of austerity measures.
"The troika is demanding above all further cuts to pensions and wages. That is very difficult, because we are already bleeding," Samaras said in an interview for the German daily Handelsblatt. "The existing cuts already go to the bone. We are at the limit of what we can expect of our population."
Eurogroup considers Spanish bailout unnecessary
A EU official told reporters on Friday that Spanish banks would not be recapitalized through the ESM this year and that the exact timing of the procedure was not known yet. He added that the Eurogroup also did not see the need for a complete Spanish bailout such as those granted to Greece, Ireland or Portugal.
The official said that the results of the latest Spanish debt auctions were satisfactory and that the situation on the financial markets improved considerably over the last six months. Eurozone finance ministers, who will hold a meeting on October 8, will discuss the situation in Spain, but they do not expect that Mariano Rajoy's government will ask for the activation of the ESM.
These declarations further contradict rumors of an imminent request for a Spanish bailout, which have been circulating in recent days. On Tuesday Mariano Rajoy said that such a request would not be made in the nearest future while on Thursday night Finance Minister Luis de Guindos denied that Spain needs a bailout at all.
Spanish FinMin denies that Spain needs a bailout
During a lecture at the London School of Economics Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos told the audience that Spain does not need a bailout, despite the increasing rumors that the country might officially ask for aid as soon as this weekend. He said that what the country really needs is ECB's intervention on the secondary market of government bonds under certain conditions.
Referring to the harsh austerity measures, introduced recently by the Spanish government and triggering violent protests in Madrid Luis de Guindos assured that “what we are doing is what we think is the correct thing not only for Spain but for the future of the Eurozone."
During Luis de Guindos's speech a group of young Spaniards protested by displaying placards with the inscription “Spain for Sale.”