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Spain: "Bankers get rescued and workers get evicted"01:20

Spain: "Bankers get rescued and workers get evicted"

Spain, Madrid
June 9, 2013 at 11:13 GMT +00:00 · Published

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Spain: "Bankers get rescued and workers get evicted"

Thousands of demonstrators vented their ire on the streets of Madrid, Saturday June 8, expressing their anger against the impunity of financial institutions and the imposed austerity measures. Holding banners with "trial and punishment" written on them and Republican flags, the protesters targeted the former president of Bankia, Rodrigo Rato, the Finance Minister Luis de Guindos and the presidents of the two main banks in Spain: Banco Santander's Emilio Botin and BBVA's Francisco Gonzalez.

The protesters were riled by the effects of the financial crisis: a rising rate of evictions and high unemployment. Responsibility for the crisis, protesters state, lies with the directors of financial institutions. Despite this, austerity measures mean that the cost of the bailout is being spread amongst all of Spain's citizens. A huge banner which led the demonstration read: "Against Financial impunity, against mortgage fraud, for the right to housing".

The protests marked a year since Spain asked for external help in order to recapitalise the financial system. Despite the capital available to institutions, protesters complained that credit is not yet flowing sufficiently. Last year, the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FOBR), a programme set up in the wake of the financial crisis, was provided with €100 billion ($132 billion) to allocate funds and stabilize the economy. Bankia required huge financial assistance after incurring losses of €20 billion ($26.5 billion). FOBR have so far allocated €23.5 billion ($31 billion) to Bankia. Estimates indicate that FOBR still hold €60 billion, which they have yet to allocate. Protesters argue that they are preventing liquidity in the financial services and therefore prolonging the crisis.

The Spanish credit system has been recently accused by the European Court of Justice having some clauses that could be considered abusive, with 400,000 houses repossessed since the beginning of the financial crisis. According to Bank of Spain, nearly 40,000 homes were evicted in Spain in 2012. Anti-eviction campaigners have continued to rally against the current state of Spanish law which allows banks to demand full repayment of a mortgage, even after a house has been repossessed.

Spain: "Bankers get rescued and workers get evicted"01:20
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:

Spain: "Bankers get rescued and workers get evicted"

Thousands of demonstrators vented their ire on the streets of Madrid, Saturday June 8, expressing their anger against the impunity of financial institutions and the imposed austerity measures. Holding banners with "trial and punishment" written on them and Republican flags, the protesters targeted the former president of Bankia, Rodrigo Rato, the Finance Minister Luis de Guindos and the presidents of the two main banks in Spain: Banco Santander's Emilio Botin and BBVA's Francisco Gonzalez.

The protesters were riled by the effects of the financial crisis: a rising rate of evictions and high unemployment. Responsibility for the crisis, protesters state, lies with the directors of financial institutions. Despite this, austerity measures mean that the cost of the bailout is being spread amongst all of Spain's citizens. A huge banner which led the demonstration read: "Against Financial impunity, against mortgage fraud, for the right to housing".

The protests marked a year since Spain asked for external help in order to recapitalise the financial system. Despite the capital available to institutions, protesters complained that credit is not yet flowing sufficiently. Last year, the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FOBR), a programme set up in the wake of the financial crisis, was provided with €100 billion ($132 billion) to allocate funds and stabilize the economy. Bankia required huge financial assistance after incurring losses of €20 billion ($26.5 billion). FOBR have so far allocated €23.5 billion ($31 billion) to Bankia. Estimates indicate that FOBR still hold €60 billion, which they have yet to allocate. Protesters argue that they are preventing liquidity in the financial services and therefore prolonging the crisis.

The Spanish credit system has been recently accused by the European Court of Justice having some clauses that could be considered abusive, with 400,000 houses repossessed since the beginning of the financial crisis. According to Bank of Spain, nearly 40,000 homes were evicted in Spain in 2012. Anti-eviction campaigners have continued to rally against the current state of Spanish law which allows banks to demand full repayment of a mortgage, even after a house has been repossessed.

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