Kristopher Rikken, ERR News
Estonia's share in a bailout of Spanish banks could reach 200 million euros if the rescue is funded from the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
The finance ministers of the Eurozone decided on June 9 that as much as 100 billion euros could be channeled to rescue troubled banks in Spain, but it is not yet known whether the funds will come from the EFSF, the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) set to be established next month, or both.
Estonia's share in the EFSF is 0.26 percent; in the ESM, it is 0.18 percent. Estonia's participation in the ESM is still being debated - a Supreme Court decision is expected on whether a mechanism that only requires 85 percent support from Eurozone members is constitutional.
"If the money all comes from the EFSF, we're talking about an amount on the order of somewhere under 200 million euros," said Tanel Ross, under secretary at the Finance Ministry.
If the cash injection is drawn from both the EFSF and ESM, "we would pay only the principal capital into the ESM and the ESM would borrow the money needed itself," he said.
Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi, speaking earlier in the day on ERR radio, said it was difficult to estimate the size of the commitment.
But the ESM, he said, "had greater clarity, does not burden countries' finances with loans, and has a good number of advantages."
"But as the ESM has not yet been officially implemented and the decision on Spain may prove necessary earlier, it seems that the EFSF will kick in first and then ESM will take over at the first opportunity," Ligi said.
Spain is the fourth country that will be getting financial aid in the Eurozone debt crisis, but it is by far larger than Portugal, Ireland or Greece.
Finland today insisted on collateral guarantees if the bailout is to come from the EFSF, saying that its taxpayers would be in a more secure situation with an ESM bailout, where Spain would have more responsibility.
Estonian Share in Spanish Rescue Could Approach €200 Million