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SPAIN BAILOUT

Socialists call for Congress probe to reveal mistakes in financial system

All opposition parties call on Rajoy to explain rescue package before parliament

All of the opposition parties want Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to appear in Congress to explain the bank bailout announced on Saturday.

After Rajoy’s surprise press conference on Sunday, many members of the opposition said that they were at least as concerned about the situation as they were before his address. Most also appeared skeptical about the government’s assertion that the bailout of the banking sector will have no impact on Spanish society.

“The government wants to make us believe that we’ve won the lottery or that the Three Kings showed up with gifts, and that is not the case,” said the leader of the Socialists, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. A party statement said this was “the gravest moment for Spain ever since the economic crisis began,” and that the bailout “deteriorates Spain’s image.”

However, Rubalcaba insisted that “the Socialist Party is not going to inflame passions in the country” out of a sense of statesmanship.

The Socialist leader also requested the creation of a congressional commission to supervise the entire bailout process, mirroring similar initiatives in other European countries that loaned money to their banks, such as the Netherlands and Britain.

“[The commission] must investigate, oversee and propose measures while the recapitalization process is underway,” said Rubalcaba, who was a senior minister during the previous Socialist administration. While in power, the Socialists were blamed by Rajoy’s PP for being unable to stem the economic crisis.

This investigative group should identify which political, financial and administrative institutions played a role in the deterioration of commercial and savings banks and list the mistakes that were made to avoid making them again and to provide citizens with answers, said the Socialist leader.