Spain's ruling party embroiled in bribe scandal

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is facing a no-confidence vote after his conservative Popular Party was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a mega-graft trial.

Tonina Alomar
Tonina Alomar NewsMavens, Spain
Spain's ruling party embroiled in bribe scandal - NewsMavens
PM Mariano Rajoy, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

After 5 years of investigation, the Spanish judiciary has sentenced 29 politicians of the ruling party PP for a vast kickbacks scheme that saw them take bribes in exchange for contracts. The PP as a party has been sentenced of having benefited from illegally funds obtained.

The "Gürtel" affair has cast a shadow on PP leaders and the party for years. Even when taking into account that corruption is widespread in Spain, these are significant revelations.

Following the sentence, the socialist opposition, after a quick meeting, filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Rajoy.

However, Spanish politics is so fragmented that there are doubts that this no-confidence motion, the fourth in the history of Spanish democracy, will be successful. The left-wing Podemos, whose leaders have just won a confidence vote from party members after they were asked for approval of their 600,000 euros villa purchase, have given unconditional support to the motion.

The months ahead look like they will be vital for Spanish politics and the future of the country. In a country where the political class is greatly mistrusted and has lost the respect of many, the coming weeks will be another litmus test for the already-battered credibility of democratic institutions in Spain.

Details from the story:

  • Another alternative is that Socialists and Podemos will be supported by the liberal Ciudadanos, who are ahead in all polls. The leader, however, has already issued Rajoy an ultimatum: call an election or face their own second motion of no confidence.
  • The Gürtel Affair is one of the largest corruption scandals in recent Spanish history. The case came to public attention in early 2009, but for the most part the suspects were not put on trial until October 2016.
  • In a 1,687-page judgment, the court found 29 out of the 37 defendants guilty of a wide range of crimes, from taking bribes to document forgery, embezzlement, money laundering, influence peddling and more. The two people at the centre of the affairs were businessman Francisco Correa, who has been sentenced to 51 years in jail, and Luis Bárcenas (ex-treasurer of PP party) sentenced to a 33-year term.
  • The PP has sought to play down the sentence insisting that the PP party did not know what was happening.
  • The case got its code name from the German word for correa, which means "belt" in Spanish.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];