Bankia, the fourth largest bank of Spain, surprised Spaniards last May when it declared it was on the verge of financial collapse. Known historically as one of the most solid and conservative financial institutions of the country, it was partially nationalized in order to avoid an economic disaster that would risk the already depressed national economy.
News Contributed by Paola Olmos from Ideas For Change
What seemed to be a healthy bank that reported a profit of 328 million € turned out be a financial mess which in fact had losses of 4.3 billion € before taxes.
To the shock and disbelief of citizens, the national financial justice system has seen no reason to impeach Bankia's former head chief, Rodrigo Rato. Despite having left the institution in such state of bankruptcy which forced a request for the largest bailout in the nation's history (19 billion €), Rato is entitled to personal compensation of up to 1.2 million €.
On June 5th, the social protest network 15-M Movement reacted rapidly, organizing an initiative known as “15MpaRato” which aimed at raising funds in order to afford a lawsuit against Bankia’s former chairman.
The response has been dramatic: they’ve raised 19,000€ - surpassing the 15,000€ goal - in less than 24 hours, collapsing the crowdfunding platform Goteo.org, becoming trending topic in Twitter (#Ratofunding) and for many, symbolizing a glimpse of hope in midst of troubled times.
Thanks to the wonders of crowdfunding, Spaniards are able to make tangible their outrage in an effort towards a just social system where corruption is penalized and impeachment noted.