Relatives and parents of what are known as Spain’s “stolen babies” gathered in Madrid to press once more for their cases to be reopened.More recently, here is a round-up of a few of the Spanish corruption scandals that have surfaced. There are many more. For instance, one of the political partners in the ruling Catalonia bloc has been found guilty of diverting money from a fund set up to train the unemployed in the region.
Campaigners believe hundreds of thousands of newborn babies were taken from parents with leftwing political views by the Franco regime.
The Barcelona regional high court ordered the UDC to pay back 388,483 euros as part of a civil forfeiture after convictions were handed down against four defendants, including the former party secretary Vicenç Gavadà, who a judge said was “the direct receiver of important quantities of cash.”Spain is indeed another country. It's going to have an internal single market! The government is only now drafting a bill under which it will be sufficient for a company that has obtained a licence from one of the regional governments to sell goods that comply with technical specifications to do so in the rest of the country. You need a licence to sell goods?
Gavadà ... and his co-defendants were found guilty of fraud-related charges, which carry terms of eight to 18 months in prison.
Prosecutors and UDC lawyers had reached a plea deal to keep current party leader Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida from testifying in the case. From Chile, where he is attending a summit, Duran asked for “forgiveness” but insisted that he won’t step down.
Spain's dire economic plight is being reflected in other measures. Madrid wants the regions to run any overseas missions out of the local Spanish embassy, so as to cut the cost of foreign representation. Unsurprisingly, Catalonia wants none of this, and says it's going to step up its own overseas activity.
Imagine if England hadn't experienced dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. What a huge landowner the church would be, how wealthy.
In Spain the Catholic Church is the country's largest and richest landowner, though its non-profit status means it is exempt from paying most taxes. But bankrupt administrations - for instance, the city of Alcala de Henares is $400 million in debt - are starting to question these exemptions: if the Catholic Church had to pay tax on all its property in Spain, it could owe up to $4 billion a year. But:
The church may be Spain's biggest landowner, but it's also the biggest charity here — at a time when public welfare programs are being cut and unemployment tops 26 percent.52% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed. Some "are seeking pastures new in the United Kingdom, where the Spanish population has increased by a third in the last five years, and the volume of National Insurance Number applications received by the Department for Work and Pensions by Spaniards over the last 12 months was second only to those made by Pakistanis as the highest number of foreign national requests".
If the Spain's economic plight is driving emigration to the UK, will Romanians hold back?