MADRID, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Spain may be in the grip of an economic crisis but for some of the country's top paid executives it appears that the recession has never existed and probably never will.
A report published Friday in the national newspaper El Pais showed how the 15 top paid executives in companies registered on the Ibex 35 stock exchange in Madrid earn a total of 127.2 million euros (164 million U.S. dollars) per year between them.
Indeed taking into account the 100 companies registered on the Ibex-35, the total earnings of the chief executives in 2012 was 268 million euros, a 5.64 percent increase on 2011.
This increase comes at a time when the average wage of Spanish workers has fallen and the cost of production dropped by around 3 percent. Not only that, the pay rise for executives of companies on the Ibex-35 comes at a time when their overall profits fell by 57 percent and in a year when share values on the Ibex fell by 4.6 percent.
The best paid executive in 2012 was the former number two at Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica, Julio Linares, who received a total of 33.3 million euros, of which 24.7 million euros was compensation after being relieved of his executive functions in September.
Despite this compensation package, Linares remains in the company as a non-executive Vice-President.
Second in the list is Joaquin Ayuso, who was paid 10.35 million euros by Ferrovial, an infrastructure and service provider. He received 8.1 percent of that money after being sacked as executive vice-president, although like Linares at Telefonica, he too retains his seat on the board.
The bronze medal in the top wages goes to Angel Cano, who is Chief Executive Officer at the BBVA, the second most important bank in Spain. Cano's basic wage is 1.74 million euros, although various bonuses and incentives saw him pocket a further 3.67 million euros, while the bank added a further 6 million euros towards his pension scheme.
Meanwhile by mid-November 2012 BBVA had admitted it had carried out 97 evictions of families unable to keep up with mortgage payments.
Meanwhile thee members of Banco Santander appear among the top-15 earners, Alfedo Saenz, Matias Rodriguez Inciarte and Ana Patricia Botin, the daughter of Emilio Botin, the bank's CEO.
It should be pointed out that some companies have not declared the earnings of their directors, in which case the list of the top-15 earners could change with people such as Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid and construction company ACS, could also be included.