¿Decenas? ¿Centenas? de imputados son y serán candidatos en las próximas elecciones, no solo en Andalucía, Cataluña, Galicia, Madrid…
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¿Imputados? ¿Investigados? ¿Con razón? ¿Sin ella?
Esa marea negra de incertidumbres baña con sus aguas podridas todos los paisajes políticos españoles. Y será una rémora podrida en las elecciones que vienen y vendrán.
Oriol Junqueras declaró el 29 de agosto 2014: “A Catalunya hem tingut estructures de corrupció”: Pujol, Mas, Junqueras, Carod-Rovira y la “corrupción estructural”, en Cataluña. Con esa convicción íntima, el mismo Junqueras negoció inmediatamente un proyecto político común con el mismo partido acusado de “corrupción estructural”.
¿Qué decir del PSOE andaluz y / o el PP madrileño?
Ante tales nubes tóxicas, Financial Times recuerda la evidencia: la corrupción favorece la ascensión de la pareja Ciudadanos / Podemos, y puede arruinar las perspectivas políticas del PP y el PSOE.
Temo tener una visión más pesimista. A mi modo de ver, la corrupción y el duelo a garrotazos son la madre y la matriz de todas las crisis españolas:
It seems as if good news is gushing out of Spain these days like water from a Seville fountain.
The economy is expanding at its fastest rate in seven years, leaving behind France, Germany and Italy. The government predicts Spain’s return to growth will create half a million jobs this year. A commercial airline (Ryanair) is going to fly in and out of Castellón airport, the unused, €150m facility near Valencia that was a symbol of wasteful expenditure in Spain’s pre-crisis years.
To cap everything, researchers say they have found, under a Madrid convent, some of the remains of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote and Spain’s most revered literary figure.
If only Greece could boast similar successes – a healing economy, a society recovering from the euro crisis, and the discovery of Homer’s skull under the patio of an Athens taverna.
Without wanting to turn a sprinkler on Spain’s parade, I think a few words of caution are in order.
The essential point is that Spanish politics gives the impression of entering a phase of once-in-a-generation structural change. Taking the long view, this is probably healthy for Spain. But with an election due by the end of this year, it is not clear to me that the next government will have a strong enough mandate to press on with the measures – such as more liberalisation of the economy, judicial reform and a settlement of the Catalan problem – which Spain needs. On the economy, the risk is that recent progress may go into reverse.
It is striking that voters seem in no mood to reward Mariano Rajoy, prime minister, and his centre-right Popular party (PP) for the government’s efforts to revive and reform Spain’s economy. But if voters are disappointed with the PP, it is no less striking that they don’t seem in a mood to turn to the opposition Socialists, either.
According to the latest Metroscopia opinion poll for El País, Spain’s leading newspaper, the PP is in third place with 18.6 per cent support. Ahead of it are Podemos, a new radical leftist party, with 22.5 per cent and the Socialists with 20.2 per cent. Catching up fast with the PP is Ciudadanos, another new party, which positions itself on the moderate centre-right and has 18.4 per cent. In other words, there is everything to play for, but no party looks likely to win an outright election victory.
How to explain the apparent crumbling of a once indestructible two-party system?
Arguably, the PP is struggling to benefit from Spain’s economic resurgence because voters do not view it as a resurgence, and the PP can’t claim all the credit, anyway. Spain’s official unemployment rate is almost 24 per cent. (Ryanair is starting flights between Castellón and the UK partly to satisfy demand from young unemployed Spaniards who have gone to British cities in search of work.)
The living standards of millions of Spaniards remain squeezed. Insofar as economic growth is rising, it probably owes as much to the European Central Bank’s unconventional demand-boosting measures as to the Spanish government’s fiscal policy and labour market reforms.
But the other important reason for the PP’s poor showing in the polls has nothing, or little, to do with economics. It has to do with politics – specifically, the feeling among large numbers of voters that the post-Franco party political system has fallen into irreversible discredit.
Without the corruption scandals that have swept like waves over the PP and the opposition Socialists, neither Podemos nor Ciudadanos would be riding so high in the polls. Mr Rajoy’s standard observation on corruption is, in essence, that Spain is no worse than other European countries and a few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch.
Such complacency goes down badly with Spaniards. It increases their conviction that Spanish society is separated by a widening gulf from the political classes that have governed the nation since the late 1970s. This, as much as Spain’s economic condition, is why the forthcoming election could produce an upset.