Spanish politics is about to see a massive cleanup. No, the corrupt politicians aren’t going to jail – they’re being rebranded.
You see, the Spanish have a wonderful word for someone who has been indicted in a criminal case: imputado. The word applies all the way up until formal charges and a prosecution are laid against you, when you become the acusado.
It’s a word that has become common recently, with hundreds of politicians being labelled imputados by Judges investigating the theft of billions of euros in political corruption cases. The streetcred of being an imputado has fallen drastically; imputados are available by the dozen, of all political colours, levels and creeds. Political parties are reduced to offering two for the price of one to try to shift the buggers.
Despite earlier promises by the main parties that they wouldn’t allow imputados to sit on their lists in the forthcoming elections, there are so many across the country that if they were all fired, the parties wouldn’t have enough candidates. Or, at least, that’s how it seems.
Anyway, Mariano Rajoy has come up with a cunning plan to revalue the imputados and, in the process, get rid of the nasty stain of political corruption: he’s eliminating the word from the dictionary. After all, as Felipe Gonzalez (exPM and PSOE heavyweight) seemed to suggest in a recent newspaper interview, if there are no longer any imputados, what’s the problem in these people standing for re-election? No promise has been broken!
A new amendment to the Spanish Penal Code is being rushed through with the offending word cut out, and instead we get a series of different vague adjectives. If a Judge calls you up for testifying because s/he thinks you’ve done something naughty, you will be a mere investigado. If you get charged, you’re still only a encausado (indicted). And when a prosecution is laid against you, you become the more familiar acusado.
It’s all nice, legal, above board and, most importantly, ethically reprehensible. And yet half the country still votes for the PPSOE. Although to be fair, it’s probably the same half who depend on them for their jobs / kickbacks.