Urban corruption in Spain is acquiring disproportionate dimensions. they are perceived to explain political positions that do not match the coherence of rationality or the defense of the more general interests of citizens.
Urban corruption: a disproportionate dimension
Some European newspapers - this is the case of The Guardian just a few months ago - gave details of the entity that urban corruption was reaching in Spain, especially on the Spanish coast.
There is no need to mention the case of Marbella, in which the rotten apple came to spread in such a way that it practically involved almost all levels of the City Council. The worst of the case is that although the indications, evidence and forms were crying out for a more active intervention, neither the Government (of the two signs, Aznar's conservative and Zapatero's socialist), nor the justice system acted diligently until the case acquired a disproportionate dimension.
In recent weeks, urban corruption comes out every day to the media with new cases. Everything seems to indicate that the anti-corruption prosecutor's office will not supply it in the coming months. According to the specialists, two concurrent reasons would justify the cases of urban corruption emerging strongly today:
- The proximity to the municipal and regional elections. Local power becomes an appetizing plate of urban interests. And the fight for the cake will bring more than one problem and tension, leaking information to the media in the form of tapes, documents or other evidence.
- The decline in real estate sales. Home prices have gone up a lot. Interest rates as well. Selling is more difficult. The promises of some and the expectations of others are more difficult to fulfill. And connoisseurs of favors are not going to easily accept empty second courses. Tensions, blackmail? Everything could be possible as the elections approach and the possibility of some political changes as well.
The entity of urban corruption these days has been strongly manifested in the media. A socialist mayor and ex-mayor used to deposit large amounts of design in an Andorran bank. In a tape, a councilor of the popular party spoke of the distribution of large-scale commissions linking it to one of the darkest cases of Spanish democracy: the transfugism of two deputies in the Community of Madrid at the time of the vote for the investiture of the Socialist president. An uncle of the President of the Community of Madrid was enriched by an urban requalification. The chain even reached the Aznar family: it was leaked that former president Aznar owned a property declared illegal in Marbella ...
Urban corruption in certain areas of Spain
In the Valencian Community and in Murcia, urban corruption acquires dramatic overtones. Mayors who live in chalets and with cars from urban developers in their municipalities. Towns with thousands of houses built illegally, privileges and favorable treatment investigated in the hands of the judges or the anti-corruption prosecution. False invoices in large leisure projects built with money and public endorsement. The anti-corruption prosecutor's office came to investigate the Murcian government itself….
The entity of the scandals and the evidence contrasts with the passivity of the institutions and the incapacity of justice, torpedoed on occasions by the public powers. In many cases, although the evidence is overwhelming, the parties close ranks and defend those implicated in court. Denying, disqualifying the adversary and looking elsewhere are the political recipes applied with a certain generality in most cases.
The Valencian Community -whose urban model has been denounced and questioned in Europe-, Murcia, Andalusia, Madrid, Catalonia, even more recently, in both Castiles, have cases that reveal the entity and extent of urban corruption schemes in Spain.
The Government and urban corruption
Social alarm is reaching such proportions that Vice President De la Vega has had to publicly announce her intention to give “zero tolerance” to corruption. Yesterday the Government announced an offer or pact to the Popular Party to tackle the cases of corruption that are increasingly emerging in Spain. The answer is not waiting. The leader of the opposition has rejected the pact and refers to the action of justice.
The health of Spanish democracy
In some areas of socialism it is commented off the record that the hand of the Popular Party among the judges reaches further than that of the socialists. As well as recognizing that the independence of the judiciary in Spain, one of the pillars on which any democracy rests, would be in crisis and is beginning to be questioned by political sectors.
As if that were not enough, the scrambles between Judge Garzón and a Council of the Judiciary, politically divided -according to all sources-, on a different issue than the one at hand, have come to corroborate in a generalized way a problem that is acquiring an absolutely dimension worrying for the health of the Spanish democracy.
This being the case, urban corruption runs the risk of getting into a black hole ... For a democracy like the Spanish one, which emerged in an exciting way and with force after more than forty years of dictatorship, it is not good news.
Previous news and topics related to urban corruption:
- Spanish urbanism
- City councils and corruption in Spain
- Spanish urban planning in the European Parliament
- Real estate corruption
- The Spain of the citizens
- European residents in Alicante
- Rodriguez Zapatero and Corruption
- Rodriguez Zapatero and Corruption on the Costa del Sol
- The EU against Valencian urban speculation
- Situation of urban planning in the Valencian Community
- Urban speculation in Alicante