Until recently the main worry Spaniards had was the unemployment rate which had jumped to a record 26%. Sure they knew there was corruption that had tainted Spain from the monarchy to the supreme Court, and of course many politicians, but they had so many problems just to go on with their lives most of them were trying to if not ignore it to put it aside. Until it was just too much and they realized that not only they could not find jobs, they also saw how so many of those social programs that have taken so many years and so many efforts to acquire after Franco’s dictatorship were being dismantled by their governement. So, when the latest discovery of corruption implicated the Partido Popular -PP- of their government, the scandal could not be hidden or add to the many other corruption scandals the country was enmeshed on.
According to articles published in the two main papers of the country, EL Pais and El Mundo, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has become entangled in a widening corruption scandal involving payments to the leaders of his PP. Apparently, former party treasurers, including Luis Bárcenas, who is at the heart of the scandal, are suspected of maintaining the ledgers in which even Mr. Rajoy appeared, first in 1997, and received sums averaging $34,000 a year through 2008. Two weeks ago, Spanish investigators were informed by Swiss authorities that Mr. Bárcenas had deposited as much as $29 million in Swiss bank accounts.
Now it has began the time of accusations and denials. But what Spain needs is a proper an independent investigation of this case. Of course everybody in the PP is denying it and accusing the oposition of lying. In the meantime Mariano Rajoy waited more than two days after the scandal became known to comment on the slush fund that threatens to engulf both him and his Popular party. He said: “Never, I repeat never, did I receive or hand out black money, not in this party nor anywhere else.” His assurances did not silence the rising popular anger and hours after he spoke, riot police cordoned off the streets around the PP headquarters in central Madrid in preparation for widespread demonstrations against political corruption.
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