The Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, during the meeting of Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union


Luis de Guindos

The Spanish Government has estimated in some 26,000 million euros the exposure that Spain has in Greece, both in bilateral loans granted to the Hellenic country, as in the guarantees and the contributions made to the rescue programs launched by the European Union (EU ). This figure represents around 2.78% of Spanish GDP , according to a report published by Bloomberg citing sources from the Greek Ministry of Finance and the European Commission.

According to this report, Spain is the country that is most affected by default as it is the one that has lent the most money to Greece with respect to its GDP. Germany, France or Italy, countries that together with Spain are the ones that have left Greece the most, would not be so affected since the difference between the loans and their GDP is lower.

The Minister of Economy, Luis de Guindos, insisted on numerous occasions that those 26,000 million loaned to Greece directly computed as Spanish public debt : “It is approximately what is spent in one year in unemployment benefits Spain with a unemployment of 26%” , has come to specify De Guindos.


On the other hand, at the beginning of March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, emphasized that the aid that Spain has rendered to Greece has been “disinterested” , because the Spanish banks are not exposed to the public debt of that one country.

“Money is owed not to the governments, but to the citizens, in particular the Spaniards, who have made enormous sacrifices to get our country out of the crisis and who have also made an enormous solidarity effort with Greece ,” he said. García-Margallo

“I want to underline here that, unlike other countries, it has been a disinterested effort, because our banks had no exposure to Greek debt, we were not helping our banks that were threatened by that debt, we were really helping the Greek government ” he explained.

De Guindos assured that Spain would not need contingency plans if there is a bankruptcy of Greece

The minister recalled that “Greece had a rather erratic economic policy, which caused the markets to close,” adding that “to pay the outstanding obligations, had to go to financial institutions.”

According to the information handled by the creditors, in the last five years the EU has lent Greece 220,000 million euros and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), another 30,000 million.

The impact before a ‘Grexit’

Apart from the funds committed to Greece, another important aspect to take into account for the Spanish economy is the impact that could have a possible bankruptcy of the Hellenic country and its abandonment of the single currency, an unprecedented fact in the young Economic Union and Monetary

Most analysts believe that the impact of this hypothetical exit of Greece from the euro would be limited and would not have a serious impact on Spain, although they imply that, with an agreement, a portion of the money lent to the country should also be lost. Hellene.

Experts believe that the Spanish economy, like all European economies, would be affected by a “grexit”, as well as its risk premiums and financial markets, where volatility would be more appreciated .

However, De Guindos himself said a few days ago that Spain would not need contingency plans if a bankruptcy of Greece finally occurs , an idea shared by many analysts , given that they understand that the recovery of Spanish GDP seems solid.

In the case of Greece, the immediate consequence of its exit from the euro area would, according to analysts, be a financial crisis and the issuance of a new currency that would have to be significantly devalued in relation to the euro.

As for Europe, the experts insist that the repercussions would be serious not so much economically – that there will be – as in relation to the credibility of the European project, which had never before been questioned and that had been considered irreversible.

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