My weekend, while good, passed against a backdrop of livid citizens. After El Pais broke a massive story that implicated Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and a number of the government’s top posts in a corruption scandal, already fed up voters took to the streets with a purpose I’ve not yet seen.
Here’s the backstory:
El Pais published an image of a ledger that is supposedly a written account of the under the table salaries top Popular Party (PP) officials- including Rajoy- have been receiving for years. The ledger was that of Luis Bárcenas, former PP treasurer, who has maintained a very close relationship with party officials but is now being investigated for allocation of funds and the €22 million Swiss account that has his name on it.
Let’s not forget that Spain is currently in dire economic straits, with a 26% total unemployment and the highest youth unemployment rate in the EU. Now couple that with the common sentiment that if you want to make money, go into politics. To find out already well-off politicians are receiving substantial amounts from top companies during a period where more than a quarter of the country cannot find work? Well, it results things like massive protests.
I went. Here’s what I saw…