The eurozone is unlikely to set up its planned banking supervisory body this year as hoped, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in comments published Sunday.
His comments in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais raised pressure on Spain, which is waiting to finalise loans from its eurozone partners to secure its troubled banking sector.
Eurozone leaders agreed on June 29 to let joint rescue funds be used to recapitalise ailing banks directly once a eurozone banking supervisory board was established, aiming for that to happen at the end of the year.
"Before direct aid is given to the banks, there must be a common banking supervisor," El Pais quoted Schaeuble as saying. "But this body will not start functioning this year. That is not very realistic," he added.
The eurozone has offered a credit line up to 100 million euros ($122 billion) to stabilise Spanish banks, stricken by the collapse of a construction bubble that burst in 2008.