Spain’s ruling politicians call 24 witnesses to testify over Bankia

City A.M. Reporter
SPAIN’S ruling People’s Party has asked 24 politicians and former Bankia executives including ex-chairman Rodrigo Rato to appear before parliament this month to explain problems leading up to the troubled lender’s state rescue.

Bankia is at the heart of a crisis that could push Spain to ask for a bailout. It has asked for a €19bn (£15bn) state rescue and former executives of the lender are being investigated for fraud.

Rodrigo Rato – one-time IMF chief who resigned from Bankia in May – had asked to speak before parliament to defend himself against the charges earlier yesterday, when he also quit the International Airlines Group’s board of directors.

Meanwhile, Spain’s high court accepted a new lawsuit against former executives of Bankia and combined it with an existing judicial investigation, court sources said.

The new complaint was filed by a protest movement known as the “indignados,” which has criticised the government’s handling of Spain’s economic crisis and billions of euros of state funds sunk into wobbling banks.