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Euro banking union could reduce Spanish burden

A giant euro logo stands in front of the headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

David Brancaccio: The European Commission has just put out a comprehensive assessment on the continent's financial crisis, and among major recommendations: Europe needs to bring its banking system into closer union, so that stronger parts of the EU can help out weaker banks without wrecking the finances of individual governments.

The BBC's Andrew Walker joins us from London.  Good morning Andrew.

Andrew Walker: Good morning.

Brancaccio: Andrew, explain to me this banking union. It's about private sector banks, but it's government regulation of those banks.

Walker: The idea is basically one of regulation and emergency support for the banks being done as a union across the eurozone so that you would have common supervision of the banking sector across the eurozone, probably common deposit insurance across the eurozone and a shared financial responsibility coming to the rescue of banks that are in difficulty.

Brancaccio: In the event that the EU swings into action -- embraces a banking union. How might that help the debt crisis?

Walker: One thing it might reduce some of the stress on individual countries. If you look at the situation in Spain now, one of the big concerns in financial markets is whether the Spanish government has the financial strength to be able to provide the assistance to its banking sector that most people think is going to be needed. If you had the kind of banking union that the European Union envisions, that concern might not be so acute. So if you like, Germany among other would be taking some of that strain, which of course would be politically difficult in Germany. You can I suppose see some sort of financial logic to it.

Brancaccio: A sharing of the burden. The BBC's Andrew Walker in London, thank you very much.

Walker: My pleasure.

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