By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ISTANBUL (AA) - Spain's social rights minister on Thursday called the big banks that make billions of profits "impudent" amid rising mortgage rates.
Ione Belarra, a minister and leader of the government’s junior coalition partner Unidas Podemos, told reporters: "If you don't want us to say that it is ruthless capitalism, we will say that it is impudent for the big banks to make billions in profits while they continue without returning the ransom and raising people's variable-rate mortgages."
Describing the situation as an emergency, Belarra said that variable-rate mortgages are rising by hundreds of euros and the government should "act as soon as possible."
"It's time to take bold action," she added.
Her remarks came a day after Spanish Labor Minister Yolanda Diaz criticized the profits of banks.
"While the rise in the Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate) will make the average mortgage more expensive by €250 ($228.96) per month," Diaz said on Twitter.
"The crisis cannot be an excuse to earn more. Freeze mortgages, moderate benefits," she said, adding that BBVA's profits grew 38%, the highest in its history.
Spain's two largest banks, Santander and BBVA, announced their 2022 financial results and according to those results Santander had a profit of €9.6 billion, while BBVA recorded €6.42 billion.