Spain shows austerity has failed: Greek leftist

Signs that Spain needs aid for its banks shows that Europe's answers to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis have failed, the head of Greece's leftist party that could win June 17 elections said on Saturday.

"Developments in Spain confirm the position that we have maintained from the start," Alexis Tsipras from the Syriza party told the Avgi daily in an interview to be published on Sunday.

"Namely, that the crisis is a pan-European problem and that the way it has been dealt with until now has been completely ineffective and socially disastrous," the 37-year-old said.

Speculation is rife that Spain, the fourth-largest economy in the 17-nation eurozone, might become the fourth member to receive an international bailout after Greece (twice), Ireland and Portugal.

The International Monetary Fund said on Friday that Spanish banks need about 40 billion euros ($50 billion) in new capital. Eurozone finance ministers are to hold a conference call at 1400 GMT on Saturday, European officials said.

Syriza, which opposes the steep austerity cuts promised by Greece in return for its two bailouts, came second in elections in Greece on May 6. Fresh elections were called after no coalition could be formed.

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