Five days before Christmas, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Rodrigo Rato was asked by a prosecutor probing the collapse of Bankia SA whether he’d done business with Jaime Castellanos, chairman of Lazard Ltd.’s Spanish unit.
Spaniards will probably hand opposition head Mariano Rajoy a record mandate in elections next month. Unwilling to risk his lead in polls, the People’s Party leader hasn’t told voters what he’d do with it.
Spain will consider seeking a bailout if the conditions imposed are acceptable, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said, the strongest signal from the government that it’s positioning to reach for the financial lifeline.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Spain is sticking to its deficit goal even as the economy shrinks, underlining a rift in the month-old Cabinet over whether the nation can halve its shortfall during a recession.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ’s Socialist party had its worst electoral setback in more than 30 years, prompting a shift in regional power that risks swelling the public deficit.
Spain’s ruling People’s Party failed to dislodge the Socialists in Andalusian elections, undermining Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he seeks to cut the deficit and tackle a new surge in borrowing costs.
Bolivia is nationalizing the local assets of Spain’s Red Electrica Corp., giving the government control of the Andean nation’s power grid two weeks after neighboring Argentina seized its biggest oil company.