Spanish PM says won't seek bailout this weekend: media

Reuters

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told regional leaders of his party that the state would not seek a euro zone bailout this weekend, news agency Europa Press reported on Tuesday.

Rajoy made the comments during a dinner on Monday at the headquarters of his centre-right People's Party (PP) in Madrid, the Spanish agency said.

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"The prime minister... denied to his regional leaders he was planning this weekend to turn to the (euro zone) rescue fund for buying debt activated by the European Central Bank, which is known as a bailout," wrote Europa Press, citing sources at the PP.

European officials told Reuters late on Monday that Spain was ready as early as next weekend to ask the euro zone and the European Central Bank to start buying its bonds, but Germany had signaled it should hold off.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office said he was not aware of Rajoy's comments.

Monday's dinner between PP leaders from Spain's regions was designed to coordinate a party stance ahead of Tuesday's meeting between Rajoy and the country's 17 autonomous regions.

The regions are being asked to make significant extra cuts to spending in the 2013 budget.

They were largely blamed for the failure of the country to meet a deficit target of 6 percent of GDP last year, forcing Madrid to set up an 18 billion euro fund to ease their liquidity problems.

(Reporting By Sarah Morris and Robert Hetz; Editing by Tracy Rucinski, John Stonestreet)