WASHINGTON, May 31 (Xinhua) -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that IMF was not planning any financial assistance to Spain.
In a statement issued following her meeting with Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, Lagarde said the meeting was "very productive" and stressed that there is no financial assistance plan to Spain and the IMF has not received any request from Spain.
"We are not doing any work in relation to any financial support, " Lagarde noted.
Earlier Thursday, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice also said at a news briefing that the IMF is not drawing up plans that involve financial assistance for Spain. Nor has Spain requested financial support from the IMF.
Rice said the two leaders would meet to discuss "recent economic developments in Spain and the eurozone."
The Spanish government may need 19 billion euros to rescue Bankia, the country's fourth largest bank. The bigger-than- expected bailout fueled speculation that more unrecognized problems may lurk in other Spanish banks, and that Spain may seek rescue loans from the IMF and the European Union.
Rice also told reporters that Lagarde regretted her Greece comments were misunderstood and caused offense. "That was not her intention," Rice noted.
In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian last Friday, Lagarde suggested that she had more sympathy for poor children in African countries than for Greeks. She also said Greeks must "help themselves collectively" by paying their taxes.
"We fully believe if all players fulfill their responsibilities and policies are implemented, Greece can overcome the situation and build a better future," Rice said, adding that the IMF remains "fully committed" to supporting Greece in this effort.
NEW YORK, May 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended a dreadful month on down note on Thursday, with major indexes suffering worst loss in about two years, amid gloomy U.S. economic data and endless European debt woes.
As of Thursday's close, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 26.41 points, or 0.21 percent, to 12,393.45. The blue-chip index suffered its first monthly losses since October, tumbling 6.2 percent in May, with only five gains in 22 trading sessions and not a single two-day winning streak. Full story