Corruption and Valencia — they go together like peas in a pod. Particularly in developments along the coast, and especially during the long construction boom when everyone was destroying the environment & getting rich, corruption was simply how it worked. You grease my palm, I greenlight your project, and the good people of Benidorm get a wonderful theme park. Everyone wins.
But recently, the push to eradicate corruption and punish those officials engaged in it has become a national priority. And the avenging eye is now squarely focused on Valencia and its leader Francisco Camps.
Details are hazy, and Camps hasn’t actually yet been accused of anything concrete; just “implicated in wrongdoing”. From what I understand, the investigations are centered on the shady dealings of business entrepreneur Francisco Correa. This dude has had business dealings with a lot of members of the conservative Partido Popular, and the wide-ranging inquiry has implicated a large number of powerful party members.
The PP is, naturally, claiming that this is a witch hunt, orchestrated by the liberals to distract people from the financial crisis. Who knows? Certainly, the governing PSOE benefits politically from the proceedings. But organized conspiracy or no, I have one piece of advice for aspiring politicians of all stripes: Don’t associate with rich ‘business entrepreneurs’ that have long, greasy, slicked-back hair. There is no way that such a person, and everything he touches, isn’t corrupt.