La corruptela del PP de Alicante y la CAM denunciada en la prensa internacional
Terra Mítica es un parque temático en Benidorm ocurrencia de la corruptela del Partido Popular en combinación con la Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo y Bancaja. Una maniobra especulativa corrupta para valorizar los terrenos cercanos al parque, mientras la CAM perdía dinero a espuertas bancando la megalomanía de los corruptos del Partido Popular, especialmente del muy deplorable Eduardo Zaplana (ex de todo esto:) -alcalde de Benidorm, presidente de la Generalidad Valenciana, ministro de Trabajo y portavoz del Partido Popular en la oposición en el Congreso.
Terra Mítica no es el único caso de despilfarro y corrupción del PP en la Comunidad Valenciana (la ciudad de Valencia está llena de extravagantes edificios fruto de la megalomanía de su alcaldesa, Rita Barberá y del gobierno pepote local y autonómico) pero seguramente sea el más espectacular y de hecho está en bancarrota, quebrado, y ha arruinado a las dos Cajas, CAM y Bancaja. Estas y otras pretenden que las salven con el dinero de los contribuyentes, y los directivos de las Cajas de Ahorro recientemente se expresaron de que los españoles deben trabajar hasta los 75 años. Eso dicho desde la autoridad de su indudable prestigio: -es broma, todos los españoles sabemos que son unos corruptos de primera y culpables principalísimos del estrago inmobiliario.
Terra Mitica, a theme park in the Spanish resort of Benidorm, features Roman gladiators and a replica of an Egyptian pyramid. Unfortunately for the regional government and two savings banks that own «Mythical Land,» the profits have proven no more real.
The park is a monument to the way Spain’s savings banks, known as cajas, helped finance the ambitions of politicians, fueling the country’s decade-long boom and setting up the lenders for losses when the bubble burst, said Jordi Palafox, 57, a University of Valencia economic history professor.
The government announced on June 26 a $9 billion-euro ($12.6 billion) rescue fund to support ailing lenders and finance mergers. The move may speed consolidation among the cajas, which account for about half of Spain’s bank lending, said Daragh Quinn, an analyst at Nomura International in Madrid.
«Terra Mitica was a political caprice that lost a lot of money,» said Palafox, 57, a former board member of Bancaja, the Valencia-based bank that owns about 22 percent of the park. «It’s part of a wider story whereby savings banks were used to finance massive speculation in property and construction.»
The cajas, non-profit lenders without shareholders, increased lending to developers to 243 billion euros by the end of 2008 from 36.2 billion euros at the start of the decade, according to the central bank. Now, as Spain faces its worst recession in 60 years, the 45 savings banks are leading the surge in overdue loans. Bad loans represented 5.05 percent of the cajas’ lending in April, compared with 3.81 percent for commercial banks, Bank of Spain data show. The crash claimed its first victim in March, when the central bank seized Cuenca, Spain-based Caja Castilla La Mancha.
A 1977 royal decree helped pass oversight of the cajas from the central government to an array of groups, including local politicians and customers, said Juan Jose Toribio, who was head of finance policy in the economy ministry at the time. «It was a mistake,» said Toribio, now a professor at the University of Navarra’s Barcelona-based IESE business school. «Politicians inevitably tend to ask savings banks to finance projects they think will win them votes.»
Many Spaniards admire the cajas because their profits fund health, culture and research programs instead of dividends to shareholders, said Manuel Romera, director of financial industry studies at Madrid’s Instituto de Empresa business school. The cajas spent 2.03 billion euros on social spending in 2008, according to Spain’s savings bank association. That compares with the $2.8 billion (2.00 billion euros) in grants worldwide by the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. «In the majority of cases, political influence is very limited indeed,» Antonio Claret Garcia, chairman of Granada- based Caja Granada, said in an interview.
Terra Mitica opened in 2000 after a campaign by Eduardo Zaplana, then Valencia’s regional governor, to boost the local economy with projects aimed at the tourists who flock to Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Valencia owns 22.4 percent of the park, and Alicante-based Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo CAM owns 22 percent.
Avril Hewitt, 56, an unemployed newspaper advertising salesman from Stockport, England, took advantage of two-for-one coupons offered at a McDonald’s restaurant in Benidorm to visit the park with 17 friends and relatives on May 29. «The park is fine, but I wouldn’t pay full price to get in,» he said. A one-day adult admission costs 34 euros.
Terra Mitica has lost more than 270 million euros since it opened, estimates Jose Camarasa, a spokesman for the opposition Socialist Party on the Valencia regional assembly, and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004.
Santiago Lumbreras, a park spokesman, declined to discuss finances except to say the park was profitable in 2006 and 2007 and had losses in 2008. The park has helped spur development in the area, he said. «It’s a mistake to only judge the park’s success by its profit and loss account,» Lumbreras said.
Political considerations didn’t influence the decision to build Terra Mitica, Bancaja Chairman Jose Luis Olivas, a former head of the regional government, said in an interview. Olivas said he favored more «depoliticized» cajas.
Bancaja’s profit fell 5.8 percent in the first quarter from a year ago to 107 million euros. Defaults and bad loans as a proportion of total lending jumped to 5.20 percent from 1.13 percent. Terra Mitica is only a small part of the bank’s business, Olivas said. The cajas’s structure makes them susceptible to political control, Palafox said.
Of Bancaja’s 199-strong general assembly, which names the board and executive committee, 99 are appointed by the regional government and town halls. The bank’s customer association picks 66. The cajas’ practice of funding customer associations and other groups linked to management tends to extend political influence, Palafox said. Client associations are «absolutely independent,» said Angel Villanueva, chairman of the Valencian savings bank customers’ group.
Because savings banks don’t have shareholders, they are more focused on market share and revenue than profitability and management of risk, said Quinn, the Nomura analyst. «This has been the key driver behind the savings banks’ greater exposure to real estate deals and would arguably have happened with or without politicians,» he said.