Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Bank Robbers

The ongoing feud between Esperanza Aguirre and Alberto Ruiz Gallardón reminds me occasionally of one of those bar brawls in a Western. All of a sudden it escapes the confines of the bar and spills out onto the street. At the moment the fighting is not taking place directly inside the Partido Popular, nor is it even one of those frequent disagreements between the Gallardón controlled Ayuntamiento and Aguirre's regional Comunidad. Aguirre is determined to add Caja Madrid, the regional savings bank, to the list of institutions which she can use for the purposes of political influence and patronage. Gallardón seeks to block her and the battle is taking place over the presidency of the bank.

The current president of Caja Madrid, Miguel Blesa, got the job in the first place because he was a friend of José Maria Aznar. Sorry, let me rephrase that; he got the job because of his extensive financial experience and impressive curriculum. However, the presidents of the cajas are not permanent appointees and Aguirre is now seeking to bring Blesa's reign to an end. You would have thought that any friend of Aznar's would also be a friend of Espe's but it seems that Blesa has offended the Condesa by refusing to allow the bank to be used as a comfortable refuge for the likes of Angel Acebes and the other under employed PP hardliners who have been cast out of the party leadership. Gallardón has given his full support to Blesa who for the moment is holding onto his post. Perhaps Aguirre also wants the bank because she is experiencing financial difficulties again, are we back to the pauper president already?

Meanwhile, one of Gallardón's latest moves has been to use Madrid's money to sponsor the basketball team of Georgetown University. Is that in Madrid? Not really, it's not even close. There is however an Aznar connection here as well because this university was his destination during his brief career as a visting lecturer following his exit from government. In honour of the moustachioed crusader's recognised fluency in English, the university is now almost always referred to in the Spanish blogosphere as "Yorchtaun". Prior to leaving government Aznar managed to ensure that some government cash headed in Yorchtaun's direction and now Gallardón is following suit. Any suggestion that this is because Mrs Aznar is his deputy must be firmly rejected. Neighbourhood sports facilities in Madrid are being denied investment because of the city's drastic financial crisis whilst cash is easily found for sponsoring sports teams in far off lands of which we know almost too much. Maybe he borrowed it from Caja Madrid?


Anonymous said...

Amazing they have any cash left after the amount they lent to promotors that promptly went bust. Remember to 1000M they lent to that promotor who went bust a week later? Lesson learnt.
What, another 30M€ to Tremon S.A.? Who went bust this week owing over 1000M to the banks? Oh dear.

Graeme said...

Yes, it wouldn't be top of my list of banks to leave your money with...and that's before Espe gets control of it!