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EU's Almunia says cannot rule out more bailouts

Source: Reuters - Mon 12th Sep 2011

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in an interview published in Spain on Monday that additional bailouts cannot be ruled out given the surprises that have been thrown up in the economic crisis.

The Spaniard said he considered the global economy in a better state than the recession of 2008 and 2009, despite growth forecasts for this year being lower than expected.

Asked whether that meant the era of bailouts was past, he said it would depend on the evolution of the economy and its impact on banks and the financial system.

"With everything we've experienced in this crisis, with the number of black swans we've seen appear, the risks that were low in probability that materialised, I believe we can't swear we will never again see that (bailouts)," he told Expansion.

Some analysts believe Spain and Italy could be forced to seek a bailout after Portugal, Ireland and Greece, if continued jitters about the euro zone force up the price of their debt to unsustainable levels.

European shares were set to slip again on Monday, tracking a slump in overseas markets, on growing concerns that Greece might default and as France and Germany were struggling to present a united front to shore up confidence in the euro zone.

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