THE RECENT Spanish political Scandal know as ERE has been the centre of attention to Spanish media over the last few days.

Seemingly recent only because a court in Seville on Tuesday convicted 19 former top officials from the ruling Socialists in Andalusia for their role in one of the biggest corruption cases in the country’s modern history. However the actual scandal broke in 2010.

The investigation itself dragged on for nine years with 507 people under scrutiny by a series of seven investigating judges.

Eventually the case became so cumbrous that it was divided into 146 separate probes.

The verdict issued on Tuesday relates to just one of those probes and the court ruling reaches to 1,700 pages.

The case became known as the ERE after the Spanish meaning for a mass-layoff plan (expediente de regulación de empleo, or ERE).

According to The Local, prosecutors have estimated that, over a decade, members of the Andalusian socialist administration diverted 680 million euros ($752 million) in public funds, discreetly passed on to people and businesses, often with close ties to the Socialist party, some of whom were not affected by lay-offs, which the funds were intended to compensate.

The reason the latest verdicts is so important to the current political situation in Spain is because after a second failure to gain majority in the Spanish General Elections, caretaker Sanchez is reminded that he seized power from Rajoy when the conservative party became entrenched in a corruption scandal within their own party.

According to PP general secretary Teodoro Garcia Egea who informed a Spanish news conference as reported by The Local, if Mr. Sanchez does not assume political responsibility, he too is disqualified to be the head of the government.

Criticism of the Socialists come from both right and other left-winged parties.


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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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