Will Spain be able to get rid of corruption?
Spain's conservative and Socialist parties have been rocked by a series of corruption scandals. The former conservative mayor of the city of Valencia is on trial for money laundering while the Socialist ex-president of Andalusia is facing charges of embezzling public funds destined for schemes for the unemployed. The parties are immersed in a swamp of corruption, commentators are certain.
Cronyism thriving among the conservatives
At the insistence of the People's Party Rita Barberá, a diehard Spanish conservative, was forced to give up her party card this week, but she refuses to give up her seat in the Senate. The centre-left daily Cinco Días sees this as proof of cronyism in the conservative People's Party:
“The senator interprets politics according to the old rules that applied during the transition [from the Franco dictatorship to democracy] which have exposed the darker, most bitter and unsavoury side of that era. Regardless of the presumption of innocence, her party and she herself knew that sooner or later she would be investigated on suspicion of money laundering. Yet her party nonetheless - presumptuously and provocatively - appointed her to the Permanent Committee of the Senate - as representative for the community of Valencia, where the power of the conservatives is as huge as the number of accused and convicted politicians at the regional and local level.”
Putting an end to Socialists' perversion of justice
A repetition of the scandal over the embezzlement of millions in funds destined for training schemes for the unemployed in Andalusia must be avoided at all cost, the conservative daily El Mundo warns:
“The embezzlement of funds trial in which an entire generation of Andalusian socialist politicians is implicated is advancing slowly but inexorably. … The prosecutors are calling for prison sentences and bans from public office for a total of 26 high-ranking politicians on charges of perversion of justice, the embezzlement of 741 million euros in public funds and organising a clientele network using public money. A trial that condemns an entire era of politics in Andalusia that must never be repeated in our country is coming to an end.”