13 Nov, 2009 @ 15:24
1 min read

Parties unite over corruption

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.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. They will probably agree on a way of not getting caught in the future. Its part of how Spain functions from the Black market of business that pay their way to the politicians who take the back handers. There are too many politicians making lots of money from corruption, so they will just change the way in which they operate.

    To be honest I dont think they are worried that there is corruption in the country, more worried that the world knows about it and they have dropped in the list.

  2. The Mayor of Chiclana (PSOE) and his Urbanismo Department have other ideas on how to deal with it, they simply lay the blame on the BUYER and DEMOLISH THEIR HOME! Whilst it has to be said that a very small percentage of the illegal properties purchased must by the law of averages have been done so by people who knew “what was going on and were bought cheaply”,and a great deal are built by Spanish people themselves perhaps being constructed 30 or 40 years ago,the majority, probably 70% have been purchased by Foreigners who are in the main British. They have used their life savings and often though NOT ALWAYS rely on their pensions (and perhaps a small private pension if they are lucky) to survive. They DON’T LEAVE THEIR BRAINS AT THE BRITISH AIRPORT as many estate agents and critics say but they do expect a lawyer in Spain to earn his outrageous fee and not just sit on his arse and do little or nothing, no searches, no making sure a road or railway is going to be built through your prospective property in the next 5 years! Exactly what do they do? The jury is still out on that question? The majority of Spanish Lawyers,Estate Agents,Notarys,and Promoters along with Builders, Electricians,Plumbers,Painters and any other service person you require in Chiclana (unless you have been fortunate to find a genuine one already-I did say the majority?)will most definitely try to con you and shaft you.
    Jose Maria ROMAN and his team don’t bother to try to trace the real Criminal in all of this, the Builder/Seller of the illegal property – even if you give them his name and address, NIE Number, details of the Estate Agent,Lawyer who dealt with the sale etc etc. They simply go for the easy taget-YOU-the buyer.

  3. Paul is quite correct, the authorites are always going after the wrong people. They attack the little person with bulldozers but leave the developers to remain in place and get away with the main crime. Some crooked developers have even recently won new building contracts!

    Such is Spain. Why are Spain in the EU exactly? They did not get a place on the G8 – France even gave that to them via a vacancy lol! They never properly implement any EU laws and cannot balance their books after four decades. As my Spanish friend said, who is leaving Spain in 2010 to go to a Scandinavian country, “Spain is full of people doing nothing”. And she means the people who have jobs!

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