Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:28 AM
polly7 (11,911 posts)
Mass Demonstrations Against Financial Coup In Spain
By Jérôme E. Roos
Monday, February 25, 2013
With unemployment hitting a shocking 26 percent, with over 400.000 families evicted from their homes since the start of the crisis (amounting to a mind-numbing 500 families per day), and with another 53,272 families projected to lose their homes this year alone, an acute humanitarian crisis is presenting itself. Meanwhile, with the excuse of “balancing the budget”, salaries are being slashed, employees laid off, hospitals privatized, pensions cut, tuition fees hiked, taxes raised, and social spending decimated.
Last year, a quarter of the government budget went to servicing the public debt, while 100 billion euros were wasted to bail out Bankia, itself a conglomerate of bankrupt savings houses. Despite the lavish provision of public funds and the extravagant bonuses of Bankia’s executives (one of whom was given 6.2 million euros to go into “early retirement”), the bank will next week reveal total losses amounting to more than 19 billion euros, constituting the largest corporate losses in Spanish history.
All the while, the elephant in the room is a sickening corruption scandal that continues to plague Rajoy’s conservative government. Last month, Spain’s biggest newspaper El País published secret documents revealing years of endemic corruption at the highest levels of the governing party. Luis Barcenas, the treasurer of the Partido Popular, kept a double account from which secret contributions by Spanish businessmen were redistributed to leading party members. Among the benefactors of the scandal are former Bankia executive and IMF official Rodrigo Rato, as well as Prime Minister Rajoy, who for 10 years netted over 250.000 euros in illegal side-payments.
To make matters worse, much of this money appears to have originated from the construction sector, which experienced a huge boom during the build-up of the Spanish real estate bubble, suggesting that leading politicians greedily took bribes to allow private investors to bypass construction regulations and build on protected lands. In the process, thousands of building projects scarred the Spanish landscape, leaving behind hundreds of uninhabited ghost towns and destroying much of the country’s once pristine beach lines. When the bubble finally burst, millions of workers in the construction sector lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands lost their homes — while politicians, bankers and businessmen made windfall profits.
Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/23f-mass-demonstrations-against-financial-coup-in-spain-by-j-r-me-e-roos
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