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Secretive Rajoy huddles with top bankers for advice

PM-elect said to be preparing for upcoming meeting with EU leaders

Prime Minister-elect Mariano Rajoy has been meeting with Spain's top banking officials as he prepares to draft the long-awaited austerity measures he plans to introduce as soon as he takes office next month.

Rajoy, who hasn't been seen publicly since his Sunday night election victory, has been keeping appointments with bank executives, such as Bankia chairman Rodrigo Rato, CaixaBank president Isidro Fainé, and BBVA President Francisco González. The Popular Party (PP) has been coy about Rajoy's schedule but sources say that the meetings are designed to help prepare him for his upcoming encounter with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

On Wednesday, Rajoy met privately for two hours with outgoing Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero but, according to sources, did not lay out part of his program for reforms.

Meanwhile, the PP and Socialist transition teams met for the second day on Thursday. In the past, these working sessions have included ministers and other top government officials. However, this time around all the work has been left to Zapatero's cabinet chief Ramón Jáuregui and former PP parliamentary spokeswoman Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.