The pain in Spain

CORRUPTION: Hard to look on at people still living the high life

FOR the second month running, corruption was cited by the Spanish as one of their greatest worries after unemployment.

Graft, bribery and corruption have always been welded inseparably to public life in Spain, whatever the date in history, the name of the regime or the political parties involved.

That politicians would be on the make and on the take was an accepted but unalterable fact of life. 

But now that times are hard it requires a strong stomach to look the other way when so many people who lived high off the hog in the good times still do so in the bad times.

Health minister Ana Mato may, as she claims, have been genuinely unaware who footed the bill for her children’s birthday parties some years back.

But in an ordinary household, an outlay of several thousand euros on balloons, confetti, birthday cake and entertainment would have to be accounted for.

Possibly Mato left it all to her ex-husband, former mayor of the posh Madrid suburb of Pozuela implicated in the Gurtel corruption case.

But if Mato could lose track of a few thousand euros, money clearly means less to her than the people who worry about corruption, critics say.

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