ECONOMY

Spain backs more flexibility for Greece on rescue loans

Spain favors giving Greece ?more flexibility? on rescue loans as European leaders wrangle over an agreement on bolstering the region?s crisis tools, Finance Minister Elena Salgado said.

Spain supports considering ?different formulas? for the Greek loan to ease the interest-rate burden as the country steps up austerity measures, Salgado told Bloomberg in an interview in Madrid.

Terms should be ?re-examined? as they?re ?the same when the country is bearing the impact of the austerity measures as when those measures will be easing? in two or three years.

Her comments follow German Chancellor Angela Merkel?s increased resistance to cutting rates on bailout loans while European leaders are still seeking to reach a consensus on boosting the firepower of the region?s 440 billion-euro rescue fund.

Officials have set a March 25 deadline to come up with fresh measures to help restore investor confidence.

?Talking about moral hazard in the case of Greece seems to me very tough,? Salgado, said. ?Aid is only given under very strict conditionality and that?s what avoids moral hazard.?