Opposition drags Bank of Spain into electoral fray
Insinuation of negligence by central bank angers Economy Minister Solbes20 February 2008
MADRID - With less than three weeks to go to general elections on 9 March, the opposition Popular Party stepped up its war of attrition against the government over its handling of the economy.
PP leader Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday accused the Bank of Spain of failing to step up to the plate to defend Spanish lenders against false claims by the foreign press they were having problems in the wake of the credit crunch unleashed by the US subprime mortgage crisis.
"The Popular Party does not accept the criticism of the foreign press," Rajoy said in an interview with Punto Radio. Rajoy urged Bank of Spain Governor Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez to dispel unfounded concerns about the banks.
Earlier this week, the PP's congressional spokesman Eduardo Zaplana insinuated the Bank of Spain was hiding how bad the situation was.
Rajoy's latest attack brought a heated response from the normally soft-spoken Economy Minister Pedro Solbes, who described the PP leader's remarks as "totally unacceptable." Visibly upset, Solbes said, "Not everything goes in politics."
[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]
Subject: Spanish news