Corruption weakens the state
High-profile scandals continue to emerge in Spain and undermine the people's confidence in their leaders and the elite.
"Gotcha," says Catalan daily El Periódico regarding several celebrities currently implicated in various corruption scandals. In the latest instalment on January 29, Carlos García Revenga, secretary to Princess Cristina, is suspected of being implicated in the "Urdangarin Affair."
Revenga was ordered to appear before a judge on February 23 with Iñaki Urdangarin, the princess' husband and son-in-law to King Juan Carlos. Urdangarin was ordered to pay an €8.1m bond. If he fails to pay, his home and belongings up to the value of €8.1m will be seized. These conditions also apply to Diego Torres, his partner in the Institue Noos, the firm suspected of being used to win public contracts that had not been offered for public tender.
"The political parties and the institutions are overwhelmed with corruption cases," warns El Periódico, noting that in Catalonia, elected officials from the (centre-right, Catalan nationalist) CiU and from the Catalan Socialist Party are accused of malfeasance and that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party is embarrassed by the 'Bárcenas' Affair, in which the former party treasurer is accused of corruption.
All of these scandals, says Enric Hernández, editorial director of El Periódico, could call into question the foundation of the political system –
Either through complicity or foolishness, politicians seem to not understand what is endangered. It is the survival of democracy and not their electoral expectations. And as long as they do not hurry to revive the political-financial system, populism is next in line to cash in on it.
This outcome is a direct threat to the premier institution in the country, the Crown, says daily El País. On the 45th birthday of Prince Felipe, the heir to the throne, the paper is calling for greater transparency regarding the public and private roles of the members of the royal family –
The Urdangarin case presents a genuine risk for the Crown's prestige, as is show by opinion polls. Steps must be taken towards financial transparency and establishing institutional rules for the Casa Real [the Royal Household, responsible for managing royal affairs]. A clear separation between the public functions of the royals and all other activities or private business would have avoided the confusion that now surrounds the secretary of the princesses [Cristina and Elena]. These institutional rules require that the heir also be considered. Felipe de Bourbon, who does not have his own properly defined status, continues [...] to prepare to play a key role in the institutional stability and balance of a country suffering from strong political and territorial tensions.
Read this article in Spanish.
Photo credit: wfabry (hot photo)