‘For life’ would be punishment indeed

PEDRO SANCHEZ: Signed a cross- party pact which avoided mentioning life sentences.

THE PSOE, the principal opposition party in the national parliament, opposed a ‘life means life’ clause in the government’s new Penal Code. It is an unSpanish concept, they and many legal experts maintain.

On the other hand the party wanted to pact anti-terrorist measures with Mariano Rajoy’s government which include indefinite life sentence for some offences.

PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez signed the cross-party pact which avoided mentioning this sentence but repeated the party’s ‘life means life’ misgivings. 

If the socialists return to power they would remove this from the Penal Code, they say, but the PSOE should ask around.

They might discover that few voters want these sentences as a matter of course, but few oppose them for exceptional cases. These include terrorists who seek martyrdom: incarcerating them for life would be punishment indeed.

Blame game

SPAIN’S tax authority Hacienda accused Switzerland of enabling the crooked Gurtel network to launder its money.

The Swiss banks helped the PP party’s ex-treasurer Luis Barcenas amongst others to avoid identification under EU laws by registering them as companies based in tax havens, Hacienda says.

That’s as maybe, but Barcenas and the rest of them piled up their dirty money for years while no-one lifted a finger to stop them. Whose fault was that?  Not Switzerland’s, that’s for sure.

Selection process

THE PSOE says it’s the only alternative to the Partido Popular which claims it is the only alternative to Podemos. Meanwhile, former communists IU flounder while the overshadowed UPyD liberals blend into the background.

They should save their breath: Spanish disillusionment with politicians extends to ignoring messages with little resemblance to what they would deliver in power. Next month Andalucia voters could provide clues as to who’s the current alternative but Syriza in Greece is the one to watch.

It will either blaze a trail for Podemos or demonstrate anti-austerity, anti-establishment promises lead to a blind alley blocked by Brussels.

Old days

DOLORES GONZALEZ  RUIZ died recently aged 68.  She was a lawyer who survived the 1977 attack by neofascists on a Madrid law firm that specialised in labour cases. They gunned down nine people killing five of them, including Lola Gonzalez Ruiz’s husband. She was seriously injured. Eight years earlier her then boyfriend died in an ‘accident’ when he ‘fell’ down a stairway while in police custody.

Things might be pretty bad, but compared with the past, they’ve never had it so good.

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