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LONDON - The British government does not participate in an emergency fund to support the euro. Een Britse diplomaat heeft dat zondag gezegd, kort voor een bijeenkomst van EU-ministers van Financiën in Brussel. A British diplomat has said Sunday, shortly before a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
They should be there to see the creation of a fund of 60 billion euros for allegedly helping out those euro countries in financial distress.
Gedacht wordt aan een opzet waarbij de Europese Commissie goedkoop geld leent op de kapitaalmarkt en dat weer uitleent aan eurolanden in problemen. Thinking about a structure in which the European Commission borrow money cheaply on capital markets and lend it back to euro countries problems.
Volgens de woordvoerster van voorzitter José Manuel Barroso van de Europese Commissie kan het besluit waarschijnlijk bij gekwalificeerde meerderheid worden genomen, waardoor Britse steun niet nodig is. According to the spokesman for President Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission's decision may be taken by qualified majority, so British aid is not necessary.
Zeker is dit volgens haar echter niet. Certainly, this in itself is not.
Analysts at Credit Suisse calculated that UK banks had £25bn of exposure to Greece and Portugal but £75bn to Spain, where the collapse in the property market has already forced banks such as Barclays to admit to bad debt problems and left Royal Bank of Scotland facing questions about its exposure.
At today's annual meeting, RBS's chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, played down any exposure to Greece, while Lloyds' finance director, Tim Tookey, said on Tuesday that the bank had no "material [significant] exposure". Barclays publishes a trading update on Friday and will face questions about its exposure to the countries being downgraded.
In early trading today banks were the biggest fallers, with RBS tumbling 7%, Lloyds down by 6.5% and Barclays off 4%, though they recovered much of their losses by the time market closed.
Among continental European banks, analysts at Evolution calculated that Fortis, Dexia, CASA and Société Générale were most affected because of the value of their Greek debt holdings relative to their size.
According to Barclays Capital, UK banks account for only 3% of the exposure to Greek bonds, while data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that, at the end of 2009, Greece owed about $240bn (£160bn) overseas. Of this, France and Germany have the biggest exposures of $75bn and $45bn respectively.