The Secret Kickbacks In Spain Fall Mainly Into The Pockets Of The Ruling Party

Tyler Durden's picture

It appears the Spanish, not to be outdone by the Italians - with their growing BMPS debacle, have found their own epic political SNAFU. For decades, El Pais reports, the ruling Popular Party (PP) leaders were paid regular sums of money aside from their official salaries, via donations from companies (especially construction firms). Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is at the top of the secret files list (kept by former PP Treasurer Barcenas) having started to receive these extra 'kickbacks' in 1997. Of course, the establishment is not responding to any questions on the matter - until exhaustive internal and external audits are undertaken - but this appears to be payback by the former PP Treasurer who was 'busted' earlier in the year (by Rajoy) for keeping millions of Euros in a Swiss bank account. If this wasn't so uncomfortably believable in a Europe that has proved itself capable of gross negligence and untruths, it would make for a great mafia-based movie transcript - unfortunately, it is all too real. Meanwhile, Spanish youth unemployment approaches 60%...


Via El Pais,

The ruling Popular Party’s internal accounting between 1990 and 2008, to which EL PAÍS has had access, shows that the conservative grouping’s leading members were paid regular sums of money aside from their official salaries. The files, kept by former PP treasurers Álvaro Lapuerta and Luis Bárcenas, comprise a series of incoming items in the form of donations from companies, especially construction firms, and outgoing expenses, which include the payments to party leaders.


Among those who received payments on the side, according to the accounts kept by Bárcenas, is Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The PP president first appears listed in 1997, with sums of money next to his name that consistently add up to 25,200 euros a year, divided either in quarterly or six-monthly payments, and continuing up to 2008.


The party’s current secretary general, Dolores de Cospedal, also figures in the papers, with two entries of 7,500 euros next to her name in the second half of 2008, immediately after she had been ratified in her post by the PP convention in June of that year. De Cospedal has publicly denied knowledge that these payments were made by Bárcenas to party officials.


Mariano Rajoy, who was asked by this newspaper to comment on this story, declined to do so via a spokesperson. The prime minister said that he will not make any comment until he has seen the results of internal and external audits, ordered by him into the party’s finances in the light of the revelation earlier this year that Bárcenas had kept millions of euros in a Swiss bank account.


The secret ledgers also include regular payments of similar quantities to those noted down next to Rajoy’s name for previous PP secretary generals (Ángel Acebes, Javier Arenas and Francisco Álvarez-Cascos), leading figures Rodrigo Rato and Jaime Mayor Oreja, and the party’s deputy leaders.


The accounts, which also include other kinds of expenses, such as training courses, show final balance figures for each year. The books corresponding to the years 1993 to 1996 inclusive were not included in the documents seen by EL PAÍS.


The periodical payments began in 1997, a year after Aznar had led the PP into government


The periodical payments to leading party members are first registered in 1997, a year after then-party leader José María Aznar had led the PP into government for the first time in its history. Among the notes for the first months in the 1990 ledger and during two months in 1997, payments to “J. M.” are present. All of the outgoing payments recorded in 1990 are listed next to the same initials.


Among the donors listed as having given money to the party are businessmen implicated in the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts scandal, which has seen several PP officials resign from their posts in regional and municipal administrations. One of those noted as having made donations is Pablo Crespo, the number-two man in Francisco Correa’s PP-linked corruption network, who has since become a target of the ongoing judicial probe into Gürtel. Alfonso García Pozuelo, the owner of the building company Constructora Hispánica, and Valencian assembly speaker Juan Cotino, are also shown to have given money to the party treasurers. Like Crespo, both were later accused of wrongdoing in the Gürtel case.


According to Bárcenas’ bookkeeping, every year part of the total quantity of donations received was set aside and paid into a bank account at Banco de Vitoria (absorbed by Banesto in 2003). The fact that only part of the money received ended up being transferred to this bank account under the heading “donations” could imply that the Popular Party was engaged in illegal financing in as far as it was not declaring all of its income.

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daz's picture

time to replace rajoy with some goldman.....

Say What Again's picture

No way!!!

The rich aristocrats benefited from their own policies.

I can't believe this.

adr's picture

Since none of them read the laws they pass. I would love to put a clause in one of the 3500 page documents that says all sitting members in congress, other than me, must pull the string on their own guillotines chopping off their heads. An effective mass suicide to save the country. Failure to comply would result in being stoned to death.

You know that the law would stillget hundreds of votes, even if a few members found out about the little addition. We must pass the law to find out what's in it.

trav777's picture

when will these idiot progs figure it out? The ONLY governments that can even vaguely be trusted with much money are run by nordic people.  And even THOSE have serious whiffs of corruption, albeit not too widespread and yes they will jail them when it's exposed.

TNTARG's picture

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! HAHAHHAAHAAHA!!! Thank's for the laughing, pal!

HelioCentric's picture

care to explain the humor?

Anusocracy's picture

This is why governments insist on complete transparency of the population and complete opacity for itself.


Dareconomics's picture

Rajoy will survive this. The only way to make these charges stick is to get one of the treasurers to flip.

Bananamerican's picture

Rajoy is, was and shall be, bull bait

Stuntgirl's picture

I am not sure, for 2 reasons:

- I can see corporatism cracking. Noone wants to be the scapegoat, they can't be paid enough to swallow that role. They will all take down whoever's necessary to survive. I can see several going the Barcenas route.

- Judges have been very recently fucked by the PP. They will see this as an opportunity to retrace their lost terrain. They want their power, privileges and pay back. And they want to be in the clear of the rage of the people.

Ancona's picture

What?!?!? I am shocked.......simply shocked that there is corruption in the government.

Bunga Bunga's picture

That can't be true, that can be only false accusations. Polititians would never lie, they would never take bribes, even not a penny, they are the most honest people in the world.

Dr. Engali's picture

Shock of shockers! The politicians are corrupt and getting kickbacks.

San Diego Gold Bug's picture

Spains rulers are mere rookies and small time operators when compaired to those in the US Congress!

Pure Evil's picture

Well, at least those in Congress no longer feel the need to hide their corruption.

Notarocketscientist's picture

Spanish politicians need to get with the program....  where are the lobbyists to act as legal middlemen for bribes?


They also need to pass a law allowing themselves to insider trade like US congress has done - fuck these petty scams - go for the REAL money!

ultraticum's picture

Ever since we took the Philippines, they've wanted to emulate the USA's "best practices". 


Al Huxley's picture

Well fuck - what do I do here?  If I believe that government officials have been secretly stealing from the population, and lying about it, that would make me part of the fucking lunatic fringe, wouldn't it?  There must be some kind of mistake here on the part of our honorable leaders and the media. Or maybe El Pais is part of the Lunatic Fringe, and not to be trusted in their reporting?

ATM's picture

It's time t smear El Pais and everyone else who ponts a finger. 

Manthong's picture

Golly, the vast right wing conspiracy must be in Europe, too.

TNTARG's picture

It isn't conspiracy. It's the way it is and we all allow it to be.

auric1234's picture

El Pais is no Lunatic Fringe, it's a well known shill of the opposing party (PSOE).


Iam Yue2's picture

They are all at it. We vote them in; why complain.

Bananamerican's picture

We vote them in from a self-selecting group of eccentrics.
Where else but in Politics can you be both an attention whore AND a kleptomaniac?

adr's picture

Are kickbacks illegal? I thought they were but how to explain virtually every politican going to washington and getting rich in a few short years?

I'm sure Pelosi and Reid would swear under oath that they don't know the definition of a kickback.

Spain just forgot to write the rules correctly.

ziggy59's picture

Absolute corruption, corrupts....

tango's picture

I;m not exactly sure why this is big news.   It's pretty common knowledge that those in power get favors in various forms.   What I don't get is why they continue to play the game as if Spain is somehow solvent and its problems are easily solvable with a few billion Euros.   I've never understood why it's OK for a nation with 26% unemployment to sell bonds at 5% but 7% is unsustainable 

q99x2's picture

Public trial in a courtyard.

Bankrupt from Belgium's picture

ah you have been reading about the Romanians two decades ago - obviously you will need the firing squad on stand-bye

Bankrupt from Belgium's picture

ah you have been reading about the Romanians two decades ago - obviously you will need the firing squad on stand-bye

Bankrupt from Belgium's picture

ah you have been reading about the Romanians two decades ago - obviously you will need the firing squad on stand-bye

mr_T's picture

A lesson to all... Don't piss off the man that hides ur dirty deeds.

Corruption and politicians... Can't be true.

Stuntgirl's picture

I love Barcenas going all "you fuck me? I FUCK YOU!"

Watch for Aznar. He will violently cover his ass and if he has to take others down, he will.

PP has been pissing off the judges recently... oops.

Orly's picture

It looks like the Euro longs are getting covered.  Maybe time for a correction?

Sell the Edge.


CheapBastard's picture

Swiss banking has never been better I read. Wars, Blood money, kickbacks, bribes, IMF bailouts...lots of money flowing around and around finding its way into those secret accounts I imagine instead of construction projects, etc.

Bunga Bunga's picture

Rato was 3 years head of IMF.

Volaille de Bresse's picture

Forget Greece, here comes Spain!


Greece was the zit on the ass of Europe but Spain is its pancreas cancer... A silent killer but a killer nonetheless...

Orly's picture


I'm starting to get it.  Draghi has prolly urged Rajoy to take the Spanish bailout money but he refused, knowing it was political suicide.

Draghi put the hammer down but Rajoy pre-empted that strike by releasing knowlege of the Sienna Bank and the Super Mario Brothers' involvement.

Thieves turning on thieves, a fight to the political death.


smacker's picture

If we knew the number of control files (aka "dirt" held on other people used to influence policy actions and other corruption) that people in high places in politics and big biz have on each other, it would blow our collective minds and cause us to realise that as mere voters, we are small fry in the overall scheme of things.

Or maybe it wouldn't.

firstdivision's picture

So Spain is ran the same way as the US

TNTARG's picture

Did you have any doubt? It's what we call "The System". It's the way it is and they're all together fucking us all.

williambanzai7's picture

Hmmm, sounds like a another low brow fringe conspiracy theory to me.

douglas's picture

I retired here in Spain (Malaga) and almost all my friends are Spanish.  I deal with these people on a daily basis and I can tell you that the pressure cooker is set on high and the lid is about to blow.  Not very sure if the top blows here before in other places, but the steam is hissing REALY loud!  I´m hearing (from a reliable source) that under-25 unemployment is actually +75%.  This new corruption thing is just more fuel for the fire.  Been looking more and more at relocating to S. America lately, scarry times...

smacker's picture

Not surprising at all Douglas. Apart from events they can't avoid, UK MSM (especially TV News) are avoiding too much mention of unrest in Spain, and even Greece. Presumably, Govt has asked TV MSM to play it all down in case us Brits get bad ideas and begin stocking up with piano wire and rope.

I suspect springtime will be when the lid blows off in Spain. Please keep us posted.

Lumberjack's picture

I wonder if that includes a "wind-fall" from Iberdrola renewables?

americanspirit's picture

Somebody kept a written record of these payments? What were they thinking! Rule #1 - cash only, no written records. Hell, anybody in the US Congress could have told them that.

Curtis LeMay's picture

Tip of the iceberg,,,

"The president of Madrid’s regional government, Ignacio González, yesterday (January 30, 2013) revealed that he purchased a penthouse last month in the holiday resort of Marbella for more than $1 million. Mr. González earns about $6,380 per month..."

"About 300 Spanish politicians from across the party spectrum have been indicted or charged in corruption investigations since the start of the financial crisis. Few have been sentenced so far."

"Bribes, embezzlement and tax evasion have tainted the upper echelons of Spanish society as well as the country’s institutional fabric, from the monarchy to the Supreme Court."

“I believe that the level of corruption that we’re now uncovering is well beyond anything that we had, at least in living memory,” said Alfonso Osorio, the president of BDO Spain, an auditing firm. “This corruption is sending the message that anything goes in the country"

Given that the pols and judiciary are all in it together, a mere 300 under indictment simply represents just a tiny fraction of the corrupt officials in Spain.

Notarocketscientist's picture

Sounds strikingly like the situation in America

Dabale arroz a la zorra el abad's picture

This could well be an opperation to force Mariano Rajoy to step down (à la Berlusconi) and impose yet another technocratic, non democratic and Goldmancratic government. Pervasive corruption is an excellent tool to manipulate governments, if you can follow it and you can also control information.
Anyway, that he and his fellow thiefs (not only from Partido Popular, there are plenty everywhere else) end up in prison would surely be good news. What happens next can be more delicate, and always a good opportunity to make some very needed changes on the system, for good (but also for worse; elites will never let a good crisis go to waste).