More than 50 people have been arrested – including prominent local political figures in Spain’s mainstream parties – in what is being dubbed the country’s biggest ever crackdown on corruption.
Investigators are interested in local government construction contracts worth some 250 million euros amid claims of bribes and kickbacks being paid.
The highest-profile detainee is Francisco Granados, an ex-deputy president of the Madrid region for the ruling conservative Popular Party.
Also formerly a senator, he stood down in February, after newspaper reports claimed he had 1.5 million euros in a Swiss bank account.
Reacting to the claims of corruption that sparked raids in the capital as well as Murcia, Leon and Valencia, Spain’s parliamentary speaker Jesus Posada said:
“I deeply regret it. These things are not good but I insist…Justice is slow but relentless and in the end everything comes to light and that is good for everyone.”
Politicians, bankers and even royals in Spain have been caught up in the country’s bid to clean up public life. After the sky-high unemployment rate, corruption has become Spaniards‘ second-biggest concern.