Elisa Vigil in a session of the Madrid Assembly
Elisa Vigil in a session of the Madrid Assembly

Corruption in Spain: Prelude to an Early Election? – An Interview

In the last 20 years, corruption cases in Spain have been coming out continuously.
In 2018, after several cases of corruption of the PP (Popular Party), the extreme left PSOE party and Podemos, alongside regionalist and nationalist parties decided to file a motion of no confidence to the government of former president Mariano Rajoy. However, since Pedro Sanchez is president of the Spanish government, there have been several cases of corruption of the socialist party.
The alleged case of corruption that we now know could be very serious, since public money could have been used when we were in pandemic to benefit companies friends of politicians and with their corresponding commissions.
In the famous “Koldo” case, there could be top level politicians involved in the alleged scheme, even having used money from European aid funds.
For this very reason, in The Long Brief, we have decided to interview Elisa Vigil, PP deputy in the Assembly of Madrid, who has been in various media explaining in depth the alleged plot. We will also see what the consequences could be if the corruption is finally proven: possible elections? possible sanctions by the EU against the Spanish government?

What can you explain to us about the corruption scheme allegedly involving PSOE officials?
The corruption scheme of the socialist party was initiated by the Audiencia Nacional (Spain’s centralised court with general jurisdiction), which began to investigate Koldo García Izaguirr, former personal advisor of the former Minister of Transport José Luis Ábalos, in an operation called Delorme for an alleged case of corruption in the purchase of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guardia Civil (spanish police) accuses the ex-counselor of Renfe Mercancias of taking advantage of his personal relationships with various authorities and public officials of the Government of Sánchez to receive commissions in cash from a company that invoiced 53 million euros in health contracts during the pandemic and ended up making a profit of 9.5 million.
All this happened in the middle of the pandemic and with an unconstitutional state of alarm that kept us locked up at home and closed the Congress of Deputies when it is not closed even in a state of war.
The situation is inconceivable and currently affects the president of the congress, the ex-minister of health and candidate of the Socialist Party in Catalonia, more and more ministers and members of the socialist party are involved in this unprecedented corrupt plot.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in the Spanish Senate. (Photo: Eva Ercolanese / PSOE / Flickr.com)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in the Spanish Senate. (Photo: Eva Ercolanese / PSOE / Flickr.com)

How has the media reacted to such a case? Is it the same reaction as the corruption they had with the PP cases?
The media echo the news that are of interest to the Government of Spain, when it comes to downplaying this case by personally attacking the President of the Community of Madrid through her partner.
The Minister of Finance has committed a crime typified in article 417 of the Penal Code for disclosing secret information of the Treasury.
Trying to cover up their own corrupt plots with news is somewhat implausible that they try to cover up the corruption of the PSOE by attacking anonymous citizens and the President of the Community of Madrid.
In 2018, Pedro Sánchez, current President of the Government, made a motion of no confidence together with Podemos and other parties to snatch power from Mariano Rajoy’s PP due to corruption cases. Do you think that currently the PP would have any possibility of making a motion of no confidence to snatch power from him due to the same situation?
The problem is that after the Amnesty Law (drafted by the authors of the coup d’état crime) that pardons the coup perpetrators and alleged terrorists of the coup d’état in Catalonia, the Spanish government has been able to armor itself in power.
The logical thing would be for President Sanchez to resign and call elections.
Once again we see the hypocrisy of the socialist party that says one thing and then does the opposite. As in the middle of the pandemic voting against prostitution while attending parties in brothels with cocaine when we were all still locked in our homes.


Covid-19 rules for visitors and locals in Mallorca, Spain explained on a sign in Port de Sa Calobra (Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr.com)

Covid-19 rules for visitors and locals in Mallorca, Spain explained on a sign in Port de Sa Calobra (Photo: Marco Verch / Flickr.com)

If the corruption case continues to splash PSOE cases, as we have seen with the former Minister Ábalos or Armengol, President of the Parliament, may it lead to an early election?
It would be essential the complete cessation of the Government of Spain, they have left our country in a position never seen before. They have taken control of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Constitutional Court.


We are facing a corrupt and autocratic government, because Sanchez has taken control of all the powers of the State to try to control absolutely everything, even judicial decisions.
It is the most complex moment that Spanish democracy has experienced, with the approval of an absolutely unconstitutional law, such as the amnesty law drafted by the criminals themselves so that they can be released from prison and Pedro Sánchez can stay in power by seven votes.
In Portugal there was also a case of corruption that splashed the PS, which caused the elections to be brought forward immediately. As we have seen recently, AD has won the elections and could form a government with Chega. Do you think that if there were elections a similar case could occur, i.e. that the PP wins and could form a government with Vox?
Currently all the polls would give us an absolute majority, what is certain is that at the moment we do not have any faith that the corrupt government of the socialist party will call elections. We have seen how there are no budgets for 2024 and they do not care and they start working on those of 2025, an unheard of issue when Sánchez himself said that it was impossible to have a country without budgets, it is like a car without gasoline.
The PP has denounced the Koldo case before the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and OLAF. Do you think that the European Union can take action in the matter?
I believe that the European Union has something to say about it, because 17.8 million European Union funds were used for the purchase of health material, from the ERDF funds and on the other hand the Solidarity Fund, which allows the Union to effectively help a Member State or a country whose accession is under negotiation in its efforts to cope with the damage caused by a major natural disaster or a serious public health emergency. At the worst of the pandemic, when people were dying and our health workers were working their asses off, they were busy setting up companies to make a profit.


The PSOE has become the most corrupt and unscrupulous party in history.


Given the assumption that European Union funds have been used in this case of corruption, do you think that the European Union could take any initiative to sanction the Spanish government?
Currently Brussels has agreed to extend the evaluation period of the fourth disbursement of the European recovery funds for two more months.
Besides, with the lack of approval of the General Budgets of the state we are in a serious problem of execution at the same time of the European Funds, it could affect the next disbursements of recovery funds to the extent that the investments that are a necessary condition for the Commission to authorize such disbursements are stopped.
Sergio Velasco
Sergio Velasco is a Spanish political scientist, analyst and political commentator. He is the founder of Filosofia Política, a social media-based enterprise where he details and offers his take on Spanish, Hungarian and Polish political developments. A columnist in Hungarian and Spanish press, he is often invited on television to share his thoughts with the viewers.

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