Pressure Builds on Merkel

Spain joins calls for increased efforts to aid European banks.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy ratcheted up pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to back new ideas for a resolution of the debt crisis as he urged European leaders to bolster efforts to protect banks.

With markets bracing for further deterioration in Spain’s finance sector and a possible Greek departure from the 17-member euro area, Rajoy on June 2 added his voice to calls for a more robust “banking union” in Europe, lending his support for a centralized system to re-capitalize lenders. On the same day, Merkel toughened her opposition to euro-area debt sharing, telling members of her party in Berlin that “under no circumstances” would she agree to German-backed euro bonds.

Cyprus Concerns

Cyprus, the bloc’s third-smallest economy, is also increasingly likely to seek a bailout if recapitalization efforts for Cyprus Popular Bank’s fail, ECB Governing Council member Panicos Demetriades said yesterday. Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already received assistance.

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