A Spanish judge has ordered the former chairman of Caja Madrid to be put in jail in a high profile investigation into banking irregularities.
Considered a flight risk bail was set a 2.5 million euros for Blesa, as an inquiry is carried out over Caja Madrid’s purchase of a US bank in the midst of the economic crisis in 2008.
This is the first time a top Spanish banker has been jailed in 20 years. The plaintiff ‘Manos Limpias’ (a right-wing union representing Spanish public employees) celebrated the news.
Miguel Bernard, ‘Manos Limpias’ union representative said: “The court’s decision gives an example to follow.”
“It is also a warning for everybody, because what the saving banks are doing in the finance area in this country is a big scandal,” he continued.
Caja Madrid merged with several banks in 2010 to form Bankia, which required a 22 billion euro rescue, forcing Spain to call on EU bailout funds.
The eurozone’s fourth largest economy has had to pass many unpopular austerity measures as a result of the crisis, making banks the focus of much public anger.