May 11, 2021

The selective memory of Rato | Economy

The selective memory of Rato | Economy

In the almost nine hours that Rodrigo Rato has been testifying before the prosecutor of the Bankia case, Carmen Launa, has demonstrated a great mastery of dates, amounts and facts of his old bank. He has had intense debates, and riffs with Launa, for some details of the story of what happened between 2010 and 2011. He has even discussed whether it was a June 15 or 16, 2010 when a meeting took place at Bankia.

The former president has shown to carry out a meticulous preparation of his defense, surprising the gaps in his memory. And they have been on issues of great relevance in which he has resorted to the relief "I do not remember". For example, in yesterday's session the prosecutor asked her if she presented a recapitalization plan to the Bank of Spain, a crucial issue in Bankia's account because it was what precipitated her exit. "I do not know anything about that recapitalization plan," he said, before the perplexity of the prosecutor. The plan was presented and it was vital because he was about to confirm him in his post. But this plan provoked the reaction of Luis de Guindos, who summoned the bankers and forced the resignation of Rato in May 2012.

Another of the great milestones of Bankia was the resignation of José Luis Olivas, vice president, in November 2011, which caused a major internal crisis. Asked by the explanations offered by Olivas, Rato said he did not remember them, nor did they refer to the bankruptcy of Banco de Valencia, which caused a big hole for Bankia … Rato has forgotten almost everything that refers to this bank, which was a subsidiary of the group, which went bankrupt and which required 5,500 million of the taxpayers.

The same happened when Launa questioned him about the Bank of Spain's calls for attention about the problems in the appraisals, which required many more provisions, one of the key issues in the failed IPO. "Do not you remember? I say this because there was talk that the matter created a special tension with the supervisor since we are talking about a problem of 4,000 million, "said the prosecutor. Nor did he specify if he taught the council the hardest report, that of PwC, which demanded 11,500 million in provisions.

Another key issue was the conflict with Deloitte, which refused to audit Bankia until a specialist valued the assets. "Did you ask that report to an independent specialist to solve this problem?" "I do not remember. I found out about this matter weeks after that meeting with Deloitte, "said Rato.

The prosecutor follows her plan meticulously, cross-questioning, something that sometimes irritates the accused. Look for contradictions or suspicious memory gaps in the most thorny issues for his defense: "I did what all the authorities told him."


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