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Finance Minister confirms cap on bank aid at 5.8 billion Euros

Austria's Finance Minister has confirmed that there is a limit on the amount of state aid that will be available to the country's banks.

Conservative People's Party leader Michael Spindelegger reassured voters that it will not exceed the 5.8 billion Euros bank aid cap as this would suffice, even when toxic assets of Hypo Alpe Adria are taken into account.

Austria took over the national lender in 2009 and are now faced with the question of how to rescue the bank from it's bad assets. The Hypo bank as 18 billion Euros of loans and investments that have gone bad.

Options include holding the toxic assets as part of the state debt or passing majority ownership to other stable banks. However, the latter of these ideas has not been received well by other banks, who say they are already suffering from hikes to levies the government has imposed.

Hypo have already received 4.8 billion Euros from taxpayers since 2008 and the European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia agreed that Austria can provide the bank 5.4 billion Euros between 2013 and 2017.

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