Let me give you that statement again. Spain is the most corrupt nation in the EU. Who says so? The people of Andalucía!
That is the finding of an opinion poll carried out by the Instituto Commentia to coincide with the autonomous region’s national day – Día de Andalucía. It reveals that 73.6 per cent of people questioned in Andalucía believe their country is the most corrupt in the EU. This compares with 1.8 per cent who believes that corruption in their country is not so serious.
Indeed 65.5 per cent of people in this region believe that Spain is now living through the most serious crisis since the days of the Transition following the death of Franco. They single out both political and economic fraud. Spaniards believe their politicians are more corrupt than the rest of society. In that assessment they see no difference between the centre right Partido Popular and the centre left PSOE.
The messages to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, over the Bárcenas scandal are mixed. Luis Bárcenas, the former Partido Popular treasurer, is alleged to have made illegal, secret payments to party officials. He is also said to have amassed million of euros in off-shore bank accounts. The percentage of those asked who believe that Rajoy should resign now is 27.3 per cent. The leader of the opposition PSOE, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, has made such a demand and support for Rajoy to go is highest amongst socialist voters. However the same number believe Rajoy should stay and clean up his party whilst 39.5 per cent believe any decision on his future should await the findings of the various investigations.
The soundings would also indicate a massive loss of trust by the people of Andalucía in the institutions of State. The biggest suffer has been the monarchy with just 34.9 per cent giving it an approval rating compared with 63 per cent in 2010.
The positive ratings for the justice system is 21.1 per cent, the Andalucía Parliament 20.3, the Andalucía Government 18.6, the Spanish Parliament 18.1, the Spanish Government 17.3, the Unions 13.7, the Cajas de Ahorros savings banks 10.9, the economic system 8.7 and the banks just 7.7 per cent.
Indeed Spaniards in Andalucía have confidence in only one institution. The armed forces and State security, being the various police forces. They command a 71.5 per cent approval rating.
It has to be said this is a chilling finding. If the people of Andalucía and may be the rest of Spain have no faith in their Royal family, governments, political parties, financial system and only value their armed forces and police that indeed raises the spectre of a Franco figure emerging from those ranks to save the nation.
With a non-conscript army and the nation embracing democracy since the death of Franco the days of a coup d’état in Spain should be firmly in the past. However Spain is a nation in despair and its support of its politicians and its institutions has collapsed. In that event we have to be very wary indeed of those in the military whose ambitions extend further than the parade ground and would march straight in to the Palacio Real crushing the government and Royal Family as they go.
(The above article appeared in the London Progressive Journal on March 6 2013)