Antonio Casado.- 07/05/2012
Spain’s troubled bank that was rescued by the state is under the spotlights again. This time, however, they were turned against Bankia by the legal sector, after the lights from those of the political sector had faded.
The award for best transparency will thus not go to the government, but to the state prosecutor who complies with its institutional duty in defense of “the citizens’ rights” and “the general interest protected by the law.”
The case opened by Spain’s high court against Bankia’s former chairman Rodrigo Rato and 32 others among the bank’s executives, was brought to the court’s attention by the small party Unidad Progreso y Democracia, UPyD, who wants the court to investigate whether there were wrongdoings when the bank was listed on the stock market that could have been against the law.
Rato, a former head of the International Monetary Fund and former finance minister in Spain, is a veteran in the governing Popular party and the case could become damaging for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government, which ruled out a parliamentary inquiry into the mismanagement of the bank.
Prosecutor requests inquiry
We can now at least be proud of the fact that the prosecutor ignored the calls from those in power, opened the case and passed it on to the high court, the Audiencia Nacional, while PP blocked the parliamentary control over the bank’s managers.
Without the explicit consent by the prosecutor, it would have been difficult for a case presented by a political party against a former minister and top PP politician to be admitted.
It was the two prosecutors, however, who directed the spotlights on the bank executives and hinted that, apart from being in the hands of bad managers, Bankia could have been in the hands of criminals.
To assure the good functioning of the institutions is good news. On the contrary, it is bad news for those who have turned into suspects of committing the following four crimes: unlawful appropriation, falsification of accounts, misleading information when the bank was listed on the stock market and disloyal administration.
Apart from Rato, the other suspects are found among Spain’s political and business elite, many of whom are linked to PP but also to the Socialist opposition party.
This article was translated and edited by Stina Lunden.
A longer version of this article is availalbe in Spanish here.
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