Thursday, March 31, 2016

Corruption, But It's Our Corruption

The foreign (British) media is all over Mallorca like a rash again. For once this isn't a rash of acute misbehaviour with a dash of herpes and its transmission embedded for all time on social networks. This is a good rash, if there can be such a thing. One that's oozing and gushing eruptions of stardom - Mallorca is the star - rather than the evacuations of the sensationalist superficiality of poisoned skin. Mallorca is the star because the media (some of it) affirms this. Or at least La Fortaleza, an ice-cream in Soller and a restaurant in Deya have attained stardom. It is fortunate that editing should choose to identify locations with subtitles, albeit generically (Mallorca as opposed to, say, Formentor). Useful also that Roper should say that he will soon be back in Mallorca sipping thirty-year-old Scotch. (Not so, Mr. Roper.) His palace will return to the abnormal normality of vast wealth out of the reach of the regular hoi polloi, save for the four days a year when it can be admitted to admire the lawns but not take photos. A star indeed and almost as distant as stars (heavenly ones, rather than those on film).

While Mallorca's star is waxing, there is always someone seeking its waning. From the same media collective comes the stare of an iris and the pressing of keys of a Jonathan Pine spoiler style. Is this coincidental or a determined counterpoint to the love blossoming courtesy of "The Night Manager"? The BBC (James Badcock) has alerted its website readers to the "corruption clean-up" in Majorca (and it is interesting to note that the BBC maintains the J Majorca)*.

Reading this, I felt vaguely defensive. I also took issue. Since when has Majorca had a deputy mayor? Jesus Jurado (Podemos) is a vice-president of the Council of Mallorca. That's that cleared up. Then there are Cristina and Iñaki not daring to use the Marivent as their base during the trial. For the record, the palace is used twice a year. More importantly, Cristina is not entitled to use it anyway. When the old king abdicated, she ceased to be a member of the Royal Family: nothing to do with the trial, just the way that royal protocol would have it - her sister also lost her status. Moreover, does anyone seriously think that the King and the Royal Household would have allowed her and Iñaki anywhere near the Marivent when the foreign media (not only British) is all over the trial like a separate rash?

The defensiveness arose because this was primarily, as the "corruption clean-up" headline words suggested, about Mallorca's corruption cases. It's not that there's an issue with foreign media rummaging around in the island's soiled linen. Just a question - why now? Why now list the roll of dishonour stretching as long and as far back as the Soller Tunnel and coming more up to date with Matas and Iñaki? Was there anyone in the world unaware that the King's sister had briefly appeared before the Palma beakery?

So, the article tells us that a couple of dozen Partido Popular and Unió Mallorquina members are either in or have been in the slammer for corruption. And the point is? It's nothing new. Indeed, so old is it that the Matas investigations date back to late 2007 (earlier, if one accepts that "caso Andratx" in 2006 was the trigger for the whole domino effect that eventually knocked over Matas). Judge Castro first took a keen interest in Nóos and Iñaki as long ago as 2010. 

It needs to be pointed out that nothing new or significant of a corrupt nature has emerged in Mallorca in the recent past. With one potentially major exception, which the article ignored. There could well yet be politicians named and embroiled in the police corruption affair. Otherwise, the likely candidates for filling the courtrooms in the future are linked to the ongoing investigations surrounding Sr. Matas. The PP HQ funding and Son Espases (which might even prove to the daddy of them all) were both Matas family affairs.

The "clean-up" referred to seems to be one driven by the deputy mayor of Majorca (sic) and colleagues in Podemos. That was an implication drawn from the article. While there's no denying the Podemos zeal in this regard, it is convenient to overlook what happened under Bauzá. He should be given some credit for having sought to change the PP and its ethos, even if it wasn't entirely successful. (There are one or two still knocking around; no names mentioned.)

The clean-up is underway and was so under Bauzá. It will move forward with the creation of the Anti-Corruption Office - so long as this doesn't become a dobbers' charter. The past we know about. Yes, it exists in the present of the trials, but it's our corruption. It's being dealt with.


Index for March 2016

Blai Bonet - 28 March 2016
Brexit and attitudes towards expats - 3 March 2016
Camping San Pedro - 23 March 2016
Car parking and beaches - 30 March 2016
Corruption - 31 March 2016
Education pact - 10 March 2016
Esperança Camps - 27 March 2016
Fijo discontinuo - 15 March 2016
Germans, tourist tax and sewage - 11 March 2016
Holiday rentals - 5 March 2016, 12 March 2016
Investiture debate - 4 March 2016, 6 March 2016
Josep Truyol Otero, film pioneer - 21 March 2016
Mallorca tourism model - 24 March 2016
Medical faculty in Mallorca - 2 March 2016
Miquel Ensenyat and German right-wing - 20 March 2016
Puerto Pollensa pedestrianisation - 26 March 2016
Renewable energy in Mallorca - 16 March 2016
Royal texts - 13 March 2016
Senior officials' appointments - 1 March 2016
Slingshot - 14 March 2016
Spain's government - 8 March 2016
Tourism statistics - 22 March 2016
Tourist tax - 9 March 2016, 19 March 2016, 25 March 2016, 29 March 2016
Tramuntana mountains' marketing - 17 March 2016, 18 March 2016
Woolworth in Palma - 7 March 2016

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