Spotlight On... Jose Ignacio GoirigolzarriNewchairmanof Spanish bank Bankia

Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri. So how do you pronounce that exactly?

Er... quickly. We don't often feature Iberian executives in this column, but this is one very special Iberian.

Why's that then?

He's the man who's been helicoptered in to try and clean up the mess that is Spain's Bankia group, which was dramatically rescued late on Wednesday night to shore up the country's debt-riven banking sector.

So who is he?

A seasoned financier, he is the former chief executive of Spain's second-biggest bank, BBVA. He helped to run a major, and pretty successful, expansion into Latin America. So Snr Goirigolzarri is pretty well regarded.

But he's a banker. Wasn't it them that got Spain into this mess in the first place?

Fair point, but, in fact, Jose (forgive me for not repeating his surname again) has been a harsh critic of the banking system, and the state's attempts to sort it out. He has a blog in which he wrote early last year that Spain's banks were effectively concealing the true extent of their losses. And he said Madrid's first effort at bank reform would not work in the long term.

A truculent chap?

Let's say, outspoken. From the Basque region, Jose has a reputation for taking a long time making up his mind, but generally being right. More than ever, Spain needs someone to come up with effective solutions, rather than sticking plasters. One of his quotes on his blog runs as follows: "We must be realistic and precise in our objectives."

"Realistic and precise": what's he going to think of today's reforms, then?

Well, put it this way: Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy is expected to order the Spanish banks to set aside a further €35bn to cover them for the losses they've taken on dumb investments in property deals. Not so long ago, Spain's own central bank said it reckoned the bad debts were €170bn worse than the banks were admitting. Jose may not be so unwise as to say so, but perhaps we can guess at his view of Rajoy's medicine.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee