Finance ministers from around the eurozone decided during ongoing talks in Brussels on Tuesday to relax the terms of Spain's budgetary obligations. According to Euronews, the group finalized plans initially proposed on Monday to give the nation's banking system some 30 billion euros in bailout funding, in return for stricter austerity measures across the country as a whole.
The group also dealt with some in-house issues as well, including an attempt to decide who should become the new president. The European Union's plans to establish an overarching banking authority were also discussed, as was the current economic situation facing Greece and Cyprus.
Here are some of the key details to emerge from the second day of the economic summit currently underway in Brussels.
* Tuesday's negotiations regarding Spain were less about its banks and more about its budgetary goals. One of the major concessions that the eurozone's finance ministers agreed to was a relaxation of the timeline in which Spain is required to meet European Union standards.
* Instead of having to reduce the nation's budget deficit down to 3 percent of its gross domestic product by the end of next year, Spain now has a deficit goal of 4.5 percent of its GDP.
* In return for the bailout of the banks, European finance ministers attached a set of 32 other stipulations to the memorandum of understanding between the two entities that gives the eurozone far greater access and influence over Spain's banking sector, according to El Pais.
* The finance ministers also attempted to determine who would be the next president of the eurogroup. According to Spiegel International, the ministers were able to come to a decision regarding other positions, appointing Yves Mersch, who currently heads the Luxembourg central bank, to a post on the executive board of the European Central Bank. Germany's Klaus Regling, who currently heads the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), was chosen to move to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) when that is established in the coming months.
* El Pais reported that Regling beat out Spain's candidate, Belen Romana, for the ESM post.
* Status reports were presented for both Cyprus and Greece at the meeting as well. Greece's lack of progress towards meeting the terms of its bailout agreement with the eurozone was heavily discussed, as the nation has asked the group to relax certain deadlines to give them additional time to meet previously agreed-upon goals. The group ultimately declined to do so, saying that it required a gesture of good faith from Greece to prove its intentions before discussing any renegotiations, as reported by Athens News.
* Cyprus' economic situation was also discussed, in lieu of the nation's request for a bailout of its own. Finance ministers decided to delay discussion of any particulars regarding the nation's request until at least September, according to Spiegel International.
* Decisions regarding the proposed European banking supervision authority were postponed as well, pending a proposal by the European Commission on the matter.
* The body also ultimately chose not to appoint a new president, delaying the decision for another few months. The current president of the eurogroup, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, will now hold the post until the end of the year.
* Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, has made no secret of the fact that he wants the position, as previously reported by Spiegel International.
Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.
- Politics & Government