Sunday

20th Aug 2017

Top Spanish official in graft scandal

  • Madrid: the former treasurer in Spain's ruling party hid up to €22 million in a Swiss bank account (Photo: PromoMadrid/Max Alexander)

A former treasurer of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) hid away his wealth in a Swiss bank account.

Court documents from an on-going judicial investigation into former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas revealed the account held up to €22 million, reports Reuters.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday (19 January) said he would crack down on corruption after the documents had been released.

“I will not waiver against inappropriate conduct,” said Rajoy.

The party, along with the opposition socialists, has helped govern the nation for the past three decades. In 2011, the conservatives won the general elections and unseated the socialists.

Barcenas was the People's Party financial chief for 28 years until 2009 when he became the focal point of an investigation for allegedly accepting bribes from businesses vying for lucrative government contracts.

The revelations come at a sensitive moment as the ruling party is losing the confidence of its electorate.

Support for the country's top leadership is at a new low, according to a Metroscopia survey published in El Pais on 13 January. Over 80 percent polled have either little or no confidence in Rajoy's stewardship.

Meanwhile, cuts in spending on education, welfare, pensions and health care have affected the weakest.

A drop in real wages means those working are still living within poverty’s grasp.

Spain’s in-work poverty rate has steadily increased since 2005 and now stands at 11.5 percent. Only Romania and Greece fare worse, says the European Commission.

Around 57 percent of under-25s are unemployed and have been dubbed “the lost generation”.

Tens of thousands of Spanish pensioners last December also saw their savings disappear over night after Bankia posted record losses.

The bank then received an €18 billion EU bailout but none went to recover the pensioners’ savings.

Despite the sizeable unemployment rates, a banking sector that received some €100 billion over the summer, and an 8 percent budget deficit of GDP, ministers in Madrid expect growth to return later this year.

But corruption antics as those alleged of Barcenas is unlikely to please the party’s support base.

The commission estimates that up to 25 percent of a public contracts’ value is lost due to corruption in public procurement.

The health care sector alone eats up an estimated €56 billion annually of public money throughout the Union due to kick-backs and bribes.

Merkel backs Spain's embattled PM

Germany's Merkel has "full confidence" in Spanish leader Mariano Rajoy, accused of having received secret payments together with other party officials.

Analysis

Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue

Fico convinced the EU commission chief to take action in the perceived problem of discriminatory food practices, even though the evidence for the phenomenon is anecdotal.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides