MARIANO RAJOY must feel like William Collingbourne as he was being hanged, drawn and quartered in 1484: “Oh Lord Jesus, yet more trouble!” he groaned.
The president, the governing PP and to a lesser extent the PSOE socialists, all face yet more trouble in the shape of another huge politic-corruption scandal. Over the last two years 51 local and regional politicians including six mayors and high-ranking officials in Madrid, Valencia, Murcia and Leon raked in illegal commissions of between €6 and €7 million on government contracts worth €250 million.
While 300 people a day were evicted from their homes, small businesses went under and employees accepted wage cuts to retain their jobs, these public servants creamed off money during the worst economic crisis Spain has ever endured.
Nor did they do it for the greater good of party funds because that cash wasn’t destined for a spot of illicit double-accounting and salary top-ups. Every cent of it went into their own pockets and every cent of it came from the taxpayer. And every cent of those €250 million will cost the two national parties dear when those taxpayers vote in next year’s elections.
Lots of fun and puns
THE latest political scandal’s codename Punica was suggested by punica granatum and a play on the surname of Francisco Granados.
Accused with an associate of stashing an illegal €5.8 million in Switzerland, he is an ex-senator and was second in charge after Esperanza Aguirre when she was regional president of the Madrid Community.
Aguirre who is now secretary general of the regional PP, insisted that she didn’t have “the slightest idea” of what Granados was up to.
In the same breath she called for the courts to speed up the ongoing Gurtel case – another pun, this time on the surname of its principal player Francisco Correa, incidentally.
After six years it still hasn’t come to court, Aguirre complained. Not that she was trying to deflect attention away from Granados, of course.
JOSE ANGEL FERNANDEZ VILLA, former leader of the SOMA-UGT miners’ union explained that the €1.4 million he declared during the government’s fiscal amnesty was a legacy from his mother.
Ludivina Villa died aged 91 after running a bar in Tuilla (Asturias) which has a population of 1,200.
She must have done a roaring trade and saved very, very hard.
ENRIQUE CALVET of the UPyD party takeS over the seat in the European Parliament given up by Francisco Sosa Wagner.
He left following serious discrepancies with the party’s leader Rosa Diez who, Sosa claimed, “is leading the party to catastrophe.”
Exit Sosa and enter Calvet who, after 48 hours of reflection, decided to take the seat despite the longstanding friendship between both men. He has a responsibility towards UPyD voters, he said. And, friendship notwithstanding, a hunger for power and generous Brussels expenses?