The Andalucian Minister of Justice (hah!) has publicly brushed off an MP’s question about the ERE scandal as another question about “that boredom of the ERE” (ese rollo de los ERE), despite the fact that we’re talking about the corrupt misspending of up to a billion euros of public money by corrupt politicians buying off friends and foes.
The following is a bunch of technical terms translated from the most boring of technical Spanish legalese into English and makes no sense unless you know what I’m on about. In which case you are following the ERE case closely, or speak damned good Spanish. Feel free to skip to the end for the heavily editorialised summary.
What makes it worse is that the comment was during a Q&A session in the Andalucian Parliament, making this the official response of the Junta de Andalucía towards what some have called the most serious ongoing corruption investigation currently underway in Spain today, implicating both the current and previous Presidents of Andalucia, amongst many other senior ministers and directors.
Emilio de Llera, who was the Public Prosecutor of the Province of Seville before being invited to join the current Administration as Andalucian Minister of Justice, continued to say that “the PP party has an [unhealthy] obsession with this ERE question which does nobody any good and seems to indicate that they [do not believe] that Justice continues to work”.
Well, of course they don’t. You’re in charge of it.
The Minister was also asked about a comment he made to the press some time ago where he said that Merecedes Alaya, the Judge investigating the ERE corruption case, “works a lot and still has time to make herself beautiful in the morning”. (He then added at the time that: from a legal position I do not share her views [on the ERE case]; as a politician I respect her official comments; as a man I admire her from afar). He replied:
I do not know if I am a male chauvinist pig [machista]; but I invite her to view my personal team, where everyone, excepting three people, are female”. It is not known, as someone pointed out afterwards, how many people are on his “personal team” (one would assume four people, the three males and one female).
Emilio was actually the first person to use the expression fondo de reptiles (slush fund) to refer to Budget Point 31.L, which was a “secret fund” inside the official Junta budget which allowed politicians to give official pensions and severance pay to people who weren’t entitled to them, without going through any official control mechanism. Of course, back then he wasn’t employed by the crooks.
Meanwhile, Rafael Rodríguez (IU party), current Minister for Tourism, who was previously an Advisor to the All-Party Budget Control Committee of the Junta de Andalucia (Cámara de Cuentas de Andalucía) -remember, the PSOE are in coalition with IU in Andalucia- said in Parliament that he could not reply to tabled questions about the scandal because he had “not read the report from the Cámara de Cuentas de Andalucía [his old paymaster] about the social-laboral fiscal help issued to workers affected by Redundancy Mass Layoffs (expedientes de regulación de empleo – ERE) and Companies in Crisis issued by the Junta de Andalucia during the Budget Periods of 2001-2011″. ( ayudas sociolaborales a trabajadores afectados por expedientes de regulación de empleo y empresas en crisis otorgadas por la Administración de la Junta de Andalucía, ejercicios 2001-2011)
Which I can understand. Simply reading the title exhausts me. Except that this man spent years being employed by the same organisation that issued the report, and it’s now his job to comment on the damn thing.
He continues to make a Spanish pun on the word “rollo” used by de Llera earlier on that day to bring in the word Pollo, and created a Spanish expression that means “to create a great noise about nothing”. His exact words were “the PP searches only to make a great noise and fuss about nothing (montar el pollo), the fights, and the needless noise, and they are not interested in the truth”.
In later declarations to Canal Sur, Minister Rodríguez explained that he had not time to read this report, and that this was not unusual as he rarely had time, even when working for the Budget Control Committee, to read long and boring technical reports that to a layman often meant something different than to the technical audience to which they were addressed.
The whole argument started because the PP tabled a question asking when the agreed all party investigative committee to investigate the ERE scandal was going to be setup. PSOE, who don’t want this, are ignoring the issue, and the IU, who are a bunch of idiots who never though they’d be in power but suddenly are and don’t want to spoil the free for all are supporting them. The PP are making political wind out of this, agreed, but hey….
In short, according to David:
the bunch of crooks who have run Andalucía since Franco died (the PSOE party) have spent almost a billion euros paying off anyone (friend or foe) who needed either some “shut the f**k up money” or “for your old age, dear old mum” money. They did this by giving them money from a slush fund, setup in the official Andalucian budget, since 2001, and including them on the lists of official pensions and layoff lists, even if these people weren’t entitled to those pensions or redundancy monies. Got it? This is called, from the Spanish, the ERE scandal.
The PSOE lost the last elections for the federal region of Andalucia but managed to get back in by forming a coalition with the IU, the left wing communist / green grouping.
The PP are pissed off that they lost and are making a fuss about this.
In any northern European country, these people would be on trial for stealing hundreds of millions of euros of public money, but here in Spain they gave the chap investigating them a job defending them and so are getting off scot free, and the press is so divided nobody reads the other sides opinion on the matter, and anyway, the EU will give Spain lots of money very shortly (Monday?) and so who cares, they went into politics to steal money and good luck to them.