Rodrigo Rato, former head of Bankia and former IMF chief is facing criminal fraud accusations related to the downfall of Bankia.
Rodrigo Rato was a member of the ruling party, PP (Partido Popular) in Spain, he was also formerly chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and finally he was head of Bankia, a banking giant which is at the center of Spain's economic catastrophe. Relating to the ruling PP party, he was in the running for the post of Prime Minister in recent elections, but lost out to Mariano Rajoy.
Now members of the 15m movement are celebrating a major victory, as the country's high court opens a fraud case against the former head of Spain's largest mortgage lender, Bankia. The bank is currently seeking as much as 23.5 billion euros ($29 billion) in bail-out money.
Rato has been ordered to appear in court to face criminal fraud accusations relating to the downfall of Bankia. 30 other people involved in the bank are also facing investigation.
Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Madrid, was heard to say, "Rato is a sacred cow in the PP. He represents a power group within the PP. He is so entrenched that no one would dare go against him, because to destroy Rato would be to destroy the whole myth of the 1996 economic miracle."
Seems he was wrong, and people have gone up against him indeed.
This news marks a rare and exciting occasion, in which a former bank executive is facing a criminal probe related to the global financial crisis.
In the video above, Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! speaks with a Madrid-based activist Olmo Gálvez. Gálvez is an organizer with ¡Democracia Real YA!, or Real Democracy Now!, part of the 15m movement in Spain, about this exciting outcome.
15m had been the first to initiate charges against Rato by lodging a lawsuit against him.