Spain: protests against Bankia cutback plans

There have been protests in cities across Spain by bank workers, angry at plans by the country’s second biggest savings bank to slash jobs and pay.

Bankia had to be nationalised in May to stop it going under, kept afloat by a government handout of 18-billion euros.

Now managers plan to jettison 5,000 workers and cut salaries for those who remain by 40 per cent.

Daniel Esteban from the Workers General Union said: “We hope they will change their plan, at least the toughest part of it like so many redundancies. We hope we can stop that, we are simply calling for common sense. We want to negotiate, but we can not negotiate in these conditions.”

Bankia was formed two years ago by the merger of struggling financial institutions.

Former board members have been accused of cooking the books to give a better impression of the bank’s financial health.

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