Ex-PM of Spain Felipe González – whose PSOE government was so corrupt it was eventually booed out of office allowing the PP under Áznar to win by a landslide – said today during an audience with the Pope that political corruption in Spain was “oppressive” and called for new laws to be passed against political corruption.
Now, let us remember that old Felipe wasn’t too keen on that sort of thing when he was in office. In fact, he’s believed to have been given his own private Caribbean island by his good friend the Venezuelan billionaire Gustavo Cisneros.
Gustavo, incidentally, became a “good friend” of Felipe’s after he seized shopping chain Galerias Preciados from Ruiz Mateo’s business empire. Felipe sold GP for the knockdown price of 1,500 million pesetas to Gustavo, who quickly (2 years?) later sold it to El Corte Inglés for a whopping 30,000 million pesetas. A damn good deal.
Anyway, Felipe, who enjoys pretending to be a pensioner who struggles to make ends meet in Spain, has spent the last few years swanning around the Caribbean entertaining a succession of nubile young female friends, a la Berlusconi. Or at his private ranch in Morroco next to King Mohammeds, with private beach and access to a private airport.
He spends his spare time managing his personal trust fund Tagua Capital, which makes enough cash for none of his sons to have to work, or even pretend to.
But recently he’s come back to Spain to play at being the elder statesman, and keeps dropping these pearls of wisdom.
What he was right about is that it’s amazing that in Spain there is no sentence in the Penal Code to regulate theft from the public purse. He pointed out that even if a crooked politician is done for theft, there’s no guarantee that he has to give the money back.
Nor is there likely to be a change in the law in the near future – the Penal Code was recently updated and the matter wasn’t addressed then either.