KING FELIPE VI used the opening of a new parliamentary session in Madrid on Thursday, November 17, to urge the Spanish government to put an end to corruption.
“Corruption must become a memory of a scourge that we must defeat,” he said in his speech.
The monarch’s plea came after Spain finished an inglorious second in a survey which ranked 42 European and central Asian countries in terms of their levels of endemic corruption, with only Moldova beating the Iberian nation.
The research was published by anti-corruption NGO Transparency International after it conducted interviews with more than 60,000 people, with the results suggesting that few citizens believe that their governments are trustworthy.
Sixty-six per cent of Spaniards believed that corruption was one of the three biggest problems facing the country, compared to 67 per cent in Moldova, which topped the table, 16 per cent in the UK and just 2 per cent in Germany.
In addition, a whopping 80 per cent of Spanish citizens reckon that the government has performed ‘poorly’ in fighting corruption, by far the highest in this section.
The lack of faith in governments was further exemplified whenan average 57 per cent of those questioned in all countries agreed that wealthy individuals often influence government decisions “for their own personal interests,” and that there should be laws in place to prevent this happening.
Spain fared better in the bribery section, in which respondents were asked about their personal experiences of bribery when coming into contact with public services such as traffic police, civil courts, education, medical care, social security and unemployment benefits.
Moldova again topped the classification, with 42 per cent responding positively, whereas only 3 per cent of Spaniards had been exposed to bribery over the last 12 months.