Top businessmen say Spain will not suffer same fate as Cyprus

The financial director of Banco Santander, Jose Antonio Alvarez, insisted that the situation in Spain is very different from that of Cyprus at a forum in Madrid yesterday.

He said the banking system in Cyprus is of a singular nature and what is happening there is ‘not applicable’ to Spain, although he added he understood why events on the island had made savers in other euro-zone countries nervous.

 Top Spanish businessmen attending the forum dismissed the possibility of savers in Spain suffering the imposition of a levy on their bank deposits as is being proposed in Cyprus.

César Alierta, the chairman of telecommunication giant Telefónica, who also attended the forum, said none of the investors with whom he has frequent contact had asked him about Cyprus and how the situation there could affect Spain. ‘It doesn’t affect us at all,’ Alierta said.

Speaking in the Senate, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, said that bank deposits of under €100,000 in Spain are ‘sacred.’

De Guindos said that the position of the Spanish government is that ‘deposits of less than €100,000  must be respected, these deposits are sacred. Spanish savers should stay calm.’

De Guindos said the turbulence in the financial markets sparked by events surrounding Cyprus will not last long. ‘They are positive figures on the Spanish economy on exports, budget execution and the trade surplus. We’re on a positive track,’ the minister said.

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