High-end escorts in the Spanish capital of Madrid are refusing to have sex with employees in the banking industry, said a report by the International Business Times on Wednesday, unless their banks opened up credit lines for cash-strapped families and firms.
According to a spokeswoman for a trade organisation that claimed to represent luxury escorts in the Spanish capital, the working ladies of Madrid decided to launch their “strike” after deciding that the Spanish government and the Bank of Spain had done little to adjust the nation’s credit flow.
"We are the only ones with a real ability to pressure the banking sector," she said. “We have been on strike for three days now and we don't think they can withstand much more.”
The spokeswoman also pointed out that some desperate bankers have already tried to pose as engineers and architects in order to try and circumvent the ban.
“But they don't fool anyone since it has been many years since these professionals could afford rates that start from 300 euro an hour," she continued.
The movement apparently started after one such escort, named Lucia, managed to force her client into granting a credit loan just by withholding her “sexual services”.
Lucia claimed that she was just trying to get the banker to “fulfil his responsibility to society”, which he subsequently did by providing a loan to a small business to purchase a Citroen van and other necessary equipment.
The Daily Mail also reports that the banking industry has gotten so desperate that they have actually petitioned their government to mediate the situation.
But the Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos has apparently told the bankers that the lack of regulations around the escort service industry means the government has little power to intercede in the conflict.
"In fact, there has not even been a formal communication of the strike — the escorts are making use of their right of admission or denying entry to…well, you know. So no one can negotiate," said de Guindos, as quoted by Russia Today.
Doubts about the Spanish economy have hit the nation’s borrowing costs, as spiralling debt and high unemployment continue to affect nationwide confidence. Spain's deficit for 2011 was 8.5 percent of its GDP, with the country susceptible to another recession, as unemployment climb to 23 percent.
Related: Spain Economy
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Spanish banks had been stocking up on government bonds, though they have cut credit lending to eurozone companies in the process. The monthly flow of loans to non-financial firms in Europe fell by 3 billion euros ($4 billion) throughout Europe in February, while the Spanish government recently passed laws requiring banks to present recapitalisation plans by the end of March.
Guntram Wolff, deputy director of Bruegel, an influential Brussels think-tank, told the Financial Times that a quick writedown of questionable loans followed by fresh ESM capital could allow banks to start lending again and stimulate the shrinking Spanish economy.
“The worst thing for the Spanish economy would be to have a non-functioning banking system that is not providing credit,” said Wolff.