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Give back our money, savers yell at Spain banks

Published on Dec 1, 2012 9:09 PM
Demonstrators hold placards in front of the Catalunya Caixa bank headquarters on Dec 1, 2012 in Barcelona during a protest against preference shares in which protesters asked the bank to return their savings.-- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Furious Spaniards who say banks cheated them of their savings took to the streets on Saturday demanding that the bailed-out lenders give them their money back.

"Thieves! Where is our money?" bellowed a crowd of some 1,000 protestors, many of them elderly, outside the central bank in Madrid before marching on the offices of Bankia, the ruined finance giant.

The protestors say Bankia told them it was putting their money in secure savings products but actually sold them "preferential shares" as it scrambled to raise funds after the financial crisis started in 2008.

Now that Bankia and other lenders have collapsed and had to be rescued with funds from Spain's European partners, customers stand to lose a big chunk of their savings.

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