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"MADRID (MarketWatch) — Walk the tree-lined streets of Rivas, a prosperous suburb southeast of Madrid, and life appears utterly normal.

Municipal sport facilities are crowded and shops are busy. Even on streets lined with new town houses, there are few outward signs of distress. For sale signs are hard to find.

But beneath the calm exterior there is growing anxiety. Friday’s unprecedented 19 billion euro government rescue of Bankia, Spain’s third biggest bank and largest mortgage lender, has riveted public attention and is the subject of spirited debate in the media. “Where will the government get the money?” asks Jorge, the owner of small business from Tenerife in the Canaries, visiting Madrid for soccer matches. He complains about the credit squeeze that has made it impossible for him to expand his retail business. “The banks won’t lend,” he says, “and home owners won’t borrow because property prices are down 25%.”

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