Spanish shame over corruption crackdown

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Spanish shame over corruption crackdown

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A leading member of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) has expressed her shame after the arrests of more than 50 prominent regional political figures.

In one of the country’s biggest crackdowns on corruption, police are investigating government construction contacts worth some 250 million euros.

People’s Party President in Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre had appointed one of the suspects:

“I have a deep sense of shame as I appear before the citizens. I can’t and I don’t want to avoid my responsibility on the appointment of Mr.Granados for high responsibility positions in the party and in Madrid’s regional government.”

Francisco Granados is a former high-ranking PP official in the Madrid region who quit in February after it emerged he had at least 1.5 million euros in a Swiss bank account.

As many as six mayors from the same region are also reportedly among those arrested.

The raids on Monday were the latest in a series of scandals that have entangled Spanish politicians and bankers. An investigation into the misuse of company credit cards by more than 80 officials connected to savings at Caja Madrid has dominated headlines in recent weeks.

Corruption scandals have left few among the Spanish ruling class untainted, engulfing politicians from the Left and Right wings, as well as businesses, unions, football clubs and even the King’s sister.