Spain Can ‘Survive’ Without Europe Bailout, BBVA’s Gonzalez Says

Spain can survive without needing a European bailout as sentiment about the euro improves and markets recognize its progress with economic reforms, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Chairman Francisco Gonzalez said.

“Spain can survive -- there is no question about that,” said Gonzalez, who heads Spain second-biggest bank, in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Davos Switzerland today. “Spain has addressed a lot of reforms over the last months and investors definitely understand that Spain is going in the right way.”

BBVA was among Spanish lenders that responded in 2012 to orders to speed up the recognition of real estate losses as the government prioritized a cleanup of bank balance sheets along with efforts to reduce its budget deficit. Funding conditions have changed “dramatically” for the better in the past four weeks and the Spanish economy will start to see “some light at the end of the tunnel” by the end of this year, said Gonzalez.

“That’s the danger -- to be complacent,” said Gonzalez. “Although the market conditions have changed dramatically for the good in terms of liquidity, I expect the Spanish government to go on in terms of reforms.”

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