I've been meaning to write about the political corruption cases rocking CiU and the PP over the last few weeks, but every time I start an article, a new case appears. Since Gürtel, we've had (to name a few) Palau, Sabadell, Lloret… and Bárcenas. All the cases are serious but Bárcenas is the big daddy of corruption scandals. It's is a case which could – and should – bring down the government.
Originally linked with Gürtel, the Bárcenas case involves significant cash payments made on a monthly basis to senior members of the PP by its then treasurer, Luis Bárcenas. The money, mainly party donations and kickbacks, was handed out in envelopes. This went on for about 25 years until it suddenly stopped a few years ago, apparently on Mariano Rajoy's orders.
Bárcenas also benefited from the tax amnesty which was one of Rajoy's first policies. He managed to legalize millions of Euros kept previously in Swiss bank accounts.
What's stunning about this case is that firstly, this isn't mere anonymous claims made in El Mundo. It's stuff that Bárcenas and his legal team seems to be admitting to. Secondly, Mariano Rajoy himself allegedly received €25,000 a year for 11 years in dodgy money. And this may have gone on until 2009.
With a spring and summer of protests on the way, I'm starting to wonder if Rajoy's government can survive. If it does, it will be through our failure to act as citizens and residents of this corrupt country.