Spain minister reassures on bank recapitalization

(AP) MADRID - Spanish Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro Tuesday claims the amount of money needed to prop up Spain's troubled banking sector is not as excessively high and repeated the country's calls for the European Union to move faster towards establishing a banking union that would allow ailing lenders to seek help without governments intervening.

Montoro declined to set a figure how much money the sector would need to cover toxic loans and mortgages but said the question was where the money would come from and insisted the EU must make progress on banking unity measures.

Spanish pull money from banks at record pace

He was speaking on Onda Cero radio Tuesday regarding Banca Santander S.A. chief Emilo Botin's estimate that Spain's banks would need 40 billion euro ($49.75 billion) to shore up their defenses.

Spain is at the center of Europe's debt crisis with speculation rampant the country may need an international bailout.