Spain’s economy ministry has said 39.5 billion euro (£31.8 billion) in bailout aid approved by European authorities for the country’s troubled banks has arrived.

A spokeswoman said the money is now in the hands of a state-run fund set up to help those entities worst hit by the property market collapse in 2008.

The money is expected to be distributed to the banks over the coming days.

The funds are part of a 100 billion euro (£80.5 billion) rescue package earmarked for Spain by the other 16 European Union countries that use the euro.

The package is designed to ease the pressure on the Spanish government so it can concentrate on managing national finances and avoid a full-blown sovereign bailout.