10 Sep, 2023 @ 14:15
2 mins read

OLIVE PRESS OPINION: Luis Rubiales comes from a long tradition of Andalucian entitlement and impunity

Rubiales
6/18/2023 - ROTTERDAM - Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales during the UEFA Nations League final match between Croatia and Spain at Feyenoord Stadion de Kuip on June 18, 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. AP | Dutch Height | MAURICE OF STONE /ANP/Sipa USA *** Local Caption *** 48023329

THE Rubiales-in brigade like to wring their hands and ask – what is the world coming to?

What is Spain coming to if, in this famously kiss-happy country, a man cannot give a woman a peck on the lips in a moment of joy?

But Luis Rubiales has not become a hunted man over a single kiss. 

The kiss tore a gaping hole in the thin veil that has concealed his sleazy conduct throughout his career as a football administrator.

And it was supplemented by his other antics the day Spain won the Women’s World Cup. From picking up female players and throwing them over his shoulder to following them into the locker room and joking about stealing the players away onto yachts to Ibiza.

Not to mention the cringy ‘apology’ video, in which he attempted to pressure Jenni Hermoso, the player her kissed, and her family to appear in with him.

All behaviour that might be acceptable between friends and families, but not between colleagues. And certainly not between a man in power and women subordinate to him.

Rubiales
Luis Rubiales is the inheritor of a long tradition of entitlement and impunity among Andalucian politicians / Cordon Press

The collective escapades drew Spain’s – and then the world’s – attention to the numerous scandals, allegations of corruption, collusion, orgies and misuse of funds which Rubiales seems to have inherited directly from his Andalucian forebears.

Motril-native Rubiales descends from a long line of Andalucians who seem to think that one only goes into politics to enrich themselves and abuse the power bestowed upon them.

That they, along with their buddies and confederates in the public institutions of power, will enjoy impunity because none of them will ever hold the other to account.

Luis Rubiales’ father, Manuel Rubiales, is a former mayor of Motril who was caught up in Andalucia’s dreadful ERE scandal in 2020. The long-running corruption case saw nearly €1 billion siphoned off by public officials in one of Spain’s poorest regions.

Over €25,000 per month spaffed on cocaine, €400,000 for a fake chicken farm and thousands on bottomless gin and tonics between 2001 and 2009 in a vast pile of money from Madrid dubbed the ‘reptile fund’ by those in the know.

Just like his son, Rubiales Senior ended up being disqualified from his position of power and still has a trial pending which could see him behind bars for three years.

Antonio Fernandez jailed in the ERE scandal
Antonio Fernandez was jailed in the ERE scandal in which Manuel Rubiales was implicated in

Meanwhile, the mother, Angeles Bejar – who presumably lived very well from her husband’s career – went on a pitiful three-day hunger strike because she could not conceive that her son might have done wrong.

She implored Hermoso to ‘tell the truth’. Bejar presumably knew what the ‘truth’ was because her golden boy – the baby of the family – told her.

Impossible for mother Bejar that her son could have been lying, or twisting the facts. Unthinkable, clearly. She believed it as gospel and then embarrassed herself in front of the world.

All this sense of impunity and entitlement underpins the endemic corruption that curses Andalucia and it is clearly passed down through the generations.

Rubiales Senior rubbed shoulders with the 21 senior Junta officials implicated in the scandal, and young Luis would have seen that conduct, been brought up surrounded in it and finally emulated it when he came of age.

Which is why it’s so important that we take a stand now, and show these people that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

Spain demands and deserves a better class of politician.

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Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? [email protected]
@waltfinc

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