Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Las Manzanas Podridas

It's hard to know which corruption scandal to write about at the moment, but let's leave the tale of the fraudulent commission of investigation for another day. Judge Baltasar Garzón has rejected attempts by the Partido Popular to have him removed from the serious corruption case that he has opened against various people associated with the PP. To challenge Garzón, the PP needs to be formally involved in the case, so they petitioned for the role of "acusación popular" in which persons or organisations affected by a case can effectively form part of the prosecution. This is what Garzón has rejected last week, and you have to say that his reasons are good ones. If, as seems highly probable, there are to be prosecutions of PP members then it simply makes no sense for the party to exercise the role of acusación popular because they would in reality end up acting for the defence. This was a trick played by supporters of the conspiracy theories in the Madrid bombings trial, but was never very likely to succeed in the latest case.

As the PP have turned their fire on Garzón, many observers have taken to recalling how the current situation neatly mirrors the GAL case that was also handled by the same judge in the 1990's. In that situation, as Garzón pursued the issue of whether the PSOE administration led by Felipe Gonzalez ran the group responsible for kidnappings and assassinations in the Basque Country, it was the PP who shouted about the need to let justice take its course whilst the PSOE claimed that the judge was inspired purely by more personal and political motives.

Although the Madrid PP is clearly involved in the scandal, it looks as if it could be equally or more damaging in another region where the party has established its hegemony; Valencia. After all this talk of bad apples it seems that it could be another fruit that causes the problem in the barrel. By all accounts the relationship between one of the principal accused and the leadership of the PP in Valencia has been a very close one, with the oddly named company Orange Market having been on the receiving end of some very lucrative contracts from the regional government. Despite that fact that their bids always seemed to be significantly more expensive than the others that were submitted.

Meanwhile over at conspiracy theory central they have decided that the real game plan here is to prevent the return of the Messiah. Aznar is said to be the real target so that he cannot return to rescue the nation from the ZetaP/Rajoy/nazionalista axis of evil. With Aznar, Aguirre and Francisco Camps all tarnished by the scandal, and with Rajoy in danger of being unseated if the Galician elections go wrong there is one prominent PP figure who remains silent and waits patiently for his moment to come. The Pharaoh has turned into the Sphinx. I think it might be time for an update on Proyecto Rio!

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