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Time for ‘truth commission’ on Spain’s banking black hole

Spain’s radical left calls for ‘truth commission’ on the ’causes’ and culprits for the country’s giant banking ‘hole’

United Left has reiterated calls for a ‘truth commission’ on the causes and responsibility for Spain’s banking crisis amid the mounting bail out bill.

The latest estimates are that the sector that gambled on the housing market and lost billions is in line for €50-60 billion euros in public money.

The news has rocked global markets with speculation that Spain might need an international bailout that in Portugal, Ireland and Greece has turned a crisis into a total disaster.

Ordinary Spaniards are meanwhile fearful of their savings and angry that billions are being spent on bankers went health and education budgets are being slashed.

‘The vast majority of citizens, regardless of ideology want to know the truth of what is happening in the financial system and want to see the culprits of this financial hole identified,’ said United Left head Cayo Lara Monday.

The leader of the communist-led party that has 11 seats in parliament on an 8% share of the vote, criticized the proposals for parliamentary hearings put forward of the Socialists, who were in power when the banker-fuelled housing bubbled burst in 2007, sending the economy into turmoil. ‘This would not get to the bottom of the matter,’ he said, arguing that it would be seen as a ‘smoke screen’.

Lara said the governing Popular Party and the now opposition socialists ‘may be a tacit agreement to avoid a thorough investigation’ into the problem of ‘financial speculation’ that was now set to cost €50 billion or more.

The commission would investigate the management by the governments of both parties and members of boards of certain savings banks that ‘were mainly composed of Popular Party or Socialist’ appointees.

A ‘truth commission’ would need to look at the role of senior executives in banks that were appointed by both parties, political representatives of the affected regions, the governor of the Bank Spain and the head of the financial regulator CNMV, the latter being responsible for guaranteeing ‘that the financial system functions within a minimum of normality.’

The parliamentary speaker from the Popular Party has twice rejected a debate on the creation of this proposed commission of inquiry. The federal leader of United Left found this position ‘incomprehensible’.

‘You can not understand this huge hole could  have  ever existed without corruption or the insulting shielding of many scoundrels,’ he said, arguing that Bankia, Spain fourth largest bank at the centre of the banking meltdown, was the ‘exponent of the financial speculative model’ that has led to the current crisis.

He accused Bankia’s senior executives of lying and ‘misrepresenting’ the accounts so disastrously that  they started by asking for €4 billion in aid and are now going for €19 billion.

United Left reiterated its rejection of ‘partial nationalization’ in favour of a total public takeover of the financial institution.

‘If we socialize the losses, we can also socialize the benefits when they come some day in the future. ”

United Left Economics and Labour spokesman José Antonio García Rubio added that the state should maintain its holding ‘indefinitely’ as ‘state control is the only way to ensure [the bank’s] viability and to reassure savers.’

Garcia Rubio said United Left was also opposed to the sale of Bankia’s industrial holdings such as electricity company Iberdrola, IT and defence company Indra, and property developer Metrovacesa.

Garcia Rubio wondered why it is possible to find money to help Bankia and not health or education.

He said that all anti-crisis measures taken since May 2010 by PSOE and PP have not been to overcome the economic problems but to ‘save the financial sector.’

About revoltingeurope

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


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