SPAIN’S two main political parties are uniting to fight the avalanche of corruption that has seen the country sink down the world league tables.
Both the PP and ruling socialist PSOE party have been forced to put the issue on their political agendas.
They agree that the problem, that has seen Spain drop four places in the world corruption tables, needs a bilateral agreement to change the penal code.
In particular, they want to change the code to punish councillors, who abuse their powers.
They also want to curb the kickbacks-for-favours scandals that have been uncovered in numerous parts of Spain.
In total, the parties want to see six laws reformed to prevent mayors and their staff making money from backhanders.
The latest case, called Pretoria, involves the alleged misappropriation of up to 1.3m by members of the Catalan government in charge of urban planning.
Both parties agree that the real estate sector is the most common cause of political corruption at a local level.
The PP’s secretary for local politics, Juan Manuel Moreno, says there are municipalities where 70 per cent of revenues are attributable to real estate.
In 2010, the regional minister Gaspar Zarrías, has promised that the government will come up with a law to make tighter restrictions on the powers of councillors.
The government will also include anti-corruption recommendations from the EU in its next penal code reform proposals.
The PP will next week introduce an ethical code that seeks greater transparency in internal contracting and audits.