UNDER FIRE: Rodrigo Rato

THE former head of the International Monetary Fund has told a court he thought his use of a company credit card was legal.

Spain’s Rodrigo Rato claimed he believed his corporate card during his tenure at Bankia bank formed a part of his salary.

The 67-year-old was answering prosecutor’s questions in the first day of a trial in which 64 others are accused of using company credit cards while working at Bankia to buy luxury, non-work related items worth millions of euros.

Prosecutors claim around €12 million was splashed on hotels, designer clothes, entertainment and travel, all of which were unrelated to their duties.

A lot of the spending occurred while Spain was going through one if the largest financial crises in its history.

Prosecutors are seeking a four-and-a-half year jail term for Rato, who was head of the Bankia group from 2010 to 2012.

He had been the IMF chief between 2004 and 2007 and was a leading figure in Spain’s Partido Popular from 1996 to 2004.


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  1. Skimming, bribing and till-dipping to suplement income for many is a normal part of Spanish tradition stemming back at least to Francisco de Azevedo’s Picaro characters based on behaviour of debased knights. For the same reason that Rato and other vermin do it, much of the public allows it: they phantasize being at a level to get away with it too.

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