Crisis: Spain, Almunia meets Rajoy after bank row

EU Commissioner accused by PP of betraying Madrid

15 June, 18:15

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, JUNE 15 - The Deputy President of the European Commission, Joaquin Almunia, has today met Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy on the day after the Partito Popolare called for the resignation of the European commissioner for betrayal of Spain. In a reference to three of the country's nationalised banking institutes: Catalunya-Caixa, Novagalicia and Banca di Valencia, Almunia yesterday stated that "one of the three, in accordance with the intentions of the Spanish authorities, is heading for liquidation and not for maintenance following its restructuring as a company".

Greece, Spain and debt pressures were just some of the items on the agenda for the meeting between Mssrs Rajoy and Almunia. On leaving Spain's government offices, they noted that the premier had not referred to the requests for resignation stamming from certain PP figures. Deputy Premier Soraya Sanz de Santamaria, in her usual press conference following a Cabinet meeting, also refused to comment on the matter. She did however make an indirect reference to the Mr Almunia: "Each one of us, in carrying out our jobs, has the duty to be responsible and prudent in our statements," Ms Sanz de Santamaria observed.

The Deputy Premier stressed the "positive tone" of the meeting between Rajoy and Almunia, which addressed "all of the themes we are following this week," concerning financial markets, the tough times for the Spanish economy and the escalation in the bonos-bund ratio. Ms Sanz de Santamaria insisted that "Spain will get out of" it troubles. "We shall continue to carry out the reforms that have been positively assessed by the Euro Group and by the EU," she added.

From Brussels, the spokesperson for the European Commission, Pia Ahrenkilde has been cited by Europa Press as today saying that the community's executive "is an independent institution that does not act according to the wishes of national governments," defending Mr Almunia and his remarks about the Spanish bank. (ANSAmed).

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