THE tax authorities could seize Rodrigo Rato’s land holdings in Almeria.
The former government minister and bank president, who also headed the International Monetary Fund, already faces two trials linked to his time as president of Caja Madrid and later Bankia. Now he is threatened with a third prosecution for suspected fraud and money-laundering.
The two court cases still loom but Rato’s finances have eased because the National High Court has reduced his surety from €133 million to €5.6 million. He and other defendants must each provide this amount to cover possible compensation to small Bankia shareholders who lost savings through its subsequent bailout.
Rato must still find the cash and since much of his €27 million fortune is in property and land, these are being blocked by the authorities.
Rato is linked to the province by more than land, as his father, Ramon Rato, owned a chain of radio stations, including Radio Almeria. He often accompanied his father on business trips to the province and later visited him in jail when he served time in Almeria prison for concealing Swiss bank accounts.