JUAN MANUEL VEGA, director general of Spain’s anti-money laundering agency Sepblac was named vice-president of the Financial Action Task Force at a Brisbane meeting. He takes over the presidency of the global laundering-prevention forum in July 2015.
Who better? Vega has had plenty of practice on his home ground, where corruption and money-laundering were until recently treated as an art form.
RAJOY is so confident – or possibly unperceptive – that he told an interviewer he has no enemies inside the Partido Popular. This could be touching faith in himself or those he trusts but for someone in Rajoy’s position it betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.
A blind spot
ONLY professional fixers disdain the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school of thought.
Spain’s president Mariano Rajoy, who conspicuously avoids as much fixing as possible, has a blind spot regarding repairs.
If indiscreet insiders are to be believed, his first reaction after the May 24 election results was mild satisfaction that the Partido Popular was still the most-voted party.
After it was pointed out to him voters appeared to want change, the president said there’d be adjustments. Giving more prominence to Health minister Alfonso Alonso and substituting unloved Education minister Jose Ignacio Wert with Iñigo Mendez de Vigo were Rajoy-style tweakings.
At best these could be described as minimalist: minimal change, minimal upheaval and for Rajoy himself, minimal loss of power.
Get a life
POLITICIANS didn’t like it and the legal profession didn’t like it when ‘life means life’ sentences were added to Spain’s new penal code. All political groups currently in Opposition announced they would revoke the law should they ever be in power.
This attitude is unlikely to lose them any votes but neither is it likely to gain them. The general public are largely unbothered about that particular piece of legislation and significantly less upset than the huge fines that could be slapped on unauthorised demonstrations. Free speech matters more than occasional isolated life-long incarceration for sadists or terrorists.