A new Public Works minister in Spain has opened fresh talks with international banks to try to get a deal in which Spain will not have to repay 100% of the Euro 3.4 billion (US$3.6 billion) debt owed by nine Spanish highways currently in default that Spain is taking over. Repayment by Spain would come in the form of a 30-year sovereign bond at a fixed interest that is being negotiated.
The compensation Spain offers to lure banks to agree to a 50% write-off of the debt will be made public when talks progress. Failure to reach a deal means Spain will have to pay the full amount of the debt in cash. But a deal with the international lenders has become more difficult since the banks have sold pieces of the debt at a discount to U.S. and U.K. investment funds that expect full repayment.