The Spanish government, the Partido Popular is mired in a huge corruption scandal; on Thursday 1st August after months of denials PM Rajoy admitted to Parliament that he was personally guilty, but only of over-trusting the ex-party treasurer Luis Barcenas. Some of the largest construction companies in Spain paid donations/bribes totalling tens of millions of Euros to secure building contracts. Rajoy denies ever receiving any of this money, though there is paperwork that suggests otherwise.
Conveniently for Rajoy whose been salaried and on the PP executive board for 25 years, party leader for 10 of those, he was always on the loo or taking a stroll in the garden whenever the brown envelopes stuffed with 500€ notes were delivered. Barcenas a fastidious record keeper, arrived at court recently with files of paperwork detailing how he came to have €22 million in a Swiss bank account. The total sums involved are alleged to be three times this figure.
Knowing the way power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely Barcenas told the court he has more evidence, a classic insurance policy. No doubt they will be released if ever he meets with an unfortunate accident.
Political donations in Spain are limited to 60,000€ for anonymous donations, donors got around this by illegally paying multiple payments of 50,000€ a time. Not wanting to bite the hands that fed; Barcenas won’t divulge which companies paid him the money and so 9 construction executives have been summoned to testify.
These to date unnamed companies were awarded huge building contracts totalling €6,6bn. Ferrovial the road and rail conglomerate have separately been accused of paying €5.9million to the then Catalan administration. It’s now clear why airports were built like Corvera in Murcia that apart from birds may never see anything else land on them, high speed railways with stations that never have passengers and motorways that are almost empty such as the A7/E15 Cartagena/Vera in Almeria. Then there is the housing bubble that has brought pain and misery to millions of people. By chance the PP locally was in power when the Albox bypass contract was awarded. Locals know this as the road to nowhere and it’s blighted the landscape for years ever since construction stopped three years ago.
In court Barcenas explained how representatives of the companies involved would turn up at the PP headquarters with cash. No receipts were given but the amount was noted both in his private records and on the back of the donating firms’ business card. Barcenas would then phone the local mayor of wherever the contract was that was of interest to the donator, tell them to expect a visit from the company representative, to give him a ‘coffee’ and make him ‘welcome.’ Barcenas regularly updated the PP leadership keeping records of when and how much he paid party officials as so called ‘salary top-ups.’ This is denied by the PP.
Just two days after Rajoys part admission of guilt Madrid started sabre rattling against Britain and Gibraltar. There was already a build-up of tensions as Madrid have been instructing their lackeys the Guardia Civil to make life difficult for anyone crossing the border, all under the pretence that it’s unfair local Spanish fisherman can’t illegally fish anymore in Gibraltarian waters due an artificial reef that was completed recently.
Spain also announced the sale of 20 Mirage jets (that they can’t afford to fly anyway cos they are skint) to Argentina, coincidentally another country with economic woes that has a territorial dispute with the UK. Spain intends to use an upcoming diplomatic visit to Argentina to try and form a ‘gang of two.’ Argentina has an upcoming temporary seat on the UN top table so they will ty their luck there. Nothing like a war (or threat of one) to try and detract voters’ attentions from the real issues!