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Economy minister calls for deposits of over 100,000 euros to be given protection

De Guindos says Spain had trade surplus for the first time on record in March

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Tuesday proposed that Europe should provide protection for deposits of more than 100,000 euros in the event of bank failures, arguing that the current guarantee limit of 100,000 euros is “artificial.”

Speaking to reporters in Brussels after a meeting of European finance and economy ministers, De Guindos said that guaranteeing bank deposits of 100,000 euros or less is not in doubt, but that there are moves to reach agreement providing protection for amounts of over 100,000 euros as well, in the case of exceptional circumstances and based on very strict rules.

“We have to send a very clear message: that deposits are adequately protected,” De Guindos said.

De Guindos also called for the introduction of the idea of shareholders and creditors sharing some of the burden for bank rescues to be delayed to 2018 as opposed to 2015, as proposed by some EU members, who want depositors with more than 100,000 euros to accept some of the pain of bank bailouts.

De Guindos said a common system of guaranteeing bank deposits was a key aspect in the creation of a European banking union.

Separately, De Guindos said Spain booked a trade surplus for the first time on record in March of around 600 million euros. “Spain had never had, since records began, a monthly trade surplus,” Bloomberg quoted De Guindos as saying. “This shows how exports have improved and that they are the main driver of Spain’s recovery and of the transformation of the economy.”