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Spain

Spanish bankers are having a good crisis

Spanish bankers have boosted their incomes by 50% since 2004 according to a study by Comisiones Obreras, the Spanish trade union central.

The most flagrant excesses relate to banks that have received large amounts of public funds, according to union, which heaped much of the blame on supervision failures by the Spanish Central Bank.

The incomes of board members and top executives in the financial sector stood at Euros 300,000 on average, amounting to 2.1% of profits over the 6 year period to 2010. But in those local savings banks (Cajas) that had received public money, the figure rises to 8.9%.

‘Socially repugnant’

The survey results are “socially repugnant” says Maria Martinez of the union’s financial workers section.  

The union wants to see caps on renumeration packages at the top of the nation’s banks, with that cap set lower for banks receiving public money.  

So far the Spanish state has injected Euros 17.6 billion (£15.3 billion) into its banks via a bail-out fund.

But some analysts believe taxpayers in Spain – and/or across the Eurozone via the European Financial Stability Facility – will be called upon to cough up as much as Euros 100 billion, or around 10% of Spanish GDP, to “rescue” the country’s banks.

Last month, the Spanish government nationalized three troubled banks.

Before Madrid stepped in to bail them out, the bankers got rich on the back of a housing bubble. That burst in 2007, leading to 300,000 homeowners losing their properties, 20%-plus unemployment and some of the harshest austerity measures in the Continent.

The Comisiones Obreras study (in Spanish) is at: http://www.comfia.net/html/22208.html

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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