Valencia’s Mayor, In the News

¡Que Bolsa, Rita!

Rita Barberá has been Valencia’s mayor for 18 years and is currently front-page news across the country for all the wrong reasons.

The conservative Partido Popular has governed Valencia for a long time, and perhaps the power has gone to their heads. All year, the PP has been embroiled in the so-called Caso Gürtel — a corruption inquiry headed by the judiciary.

In Valencia, a company called Orange Market has enjoyed years of success, securing nearly all of the government contracts it went after, even when it was the highest bidder. Just raking it in. Its president, Álvaro Peréz, is known as “The Mustache” and could teach a master’s class on How To Look Like a Shady Businessman. Although Francisco Camps (Valencia’s president) and Barberá deny it, evidence suggests he’s been very close to them for a number of years.

Recently, a telephone conversation was recorded where The Mustache bragged about how he’s been giving Ms. Barberá gifts for four years, including a Louis Vuitton handbag. She, of course, denies any wrongdoing and is threatening to take her accusers to court.

It’s hard to imagine something less shocking than the revelation of possible corruption in this city. The question, though, is whether anything will come of it. Someone explained to me that corruption was such an implicit part of the government under Franco that a lot of older folks don’t even bat an eye when it happens in the present day. For that reason, this sort of wrong-doing might not be punished at the polls until a younger, less cynical generation assumes more power.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Pete

    Have you noticed both Rita and Paco are being indicted for just having good taste when receiving italian suits and french handbags? Meanwhile, ZP enjoys his Santanderian anchovies!
    It’s a matter of upbringing…what can we say!

  2. maria

    I thought you were respectful visitors/inmigrants that love living in Valencia. But you are going now beyond limits trying to create opinion and using “bs…t” rumors -nothing proven so far.
    I’m a Valencian living abroad and would NEVER EVER dare making political comments about things I can not understand as I wouldn’t have the right background.

  3. Graham

    Hi Maria

    So the 8 million in contracts given to Orange Market from Camps since it was formed three months before Camps came to power is a total coincidence is it and a bullshit rumour. Corruption pure and simple like it or not. Just because one lives in a place where they were not born doesn’t mean that you have to ignore nepotism, corruption and giving politics a bad name.


  4. AJS

    Really Maria

    I was in Barcelona before the war in Iraq started and those 2 million people who marched against it must have all been only against Aznar. The 10.000s of people with anti-Bush signs must have all been Americans. Who knew!

  5. Juanma

    Maria, te has pasado un par de pueblos sin aportar ningun razonamiento ademas.

  6. Graham

    Buen comentario Juanma

  7. maria

    Just red the Court has decided AGAINST continuing with this case. Glad to see that Justice and common sense have prevailed…
    What some “minorities” could not win legally in the elections, it’s been tried with rumors and calumnies. This is NOT democratic -here and everywhere else.

  8. Graham

    So just because the presiding judge is a friend of Camps, in the same political party and cannot see the obvious thing that has happened here because he doesn’t want to, it means that nothing happened…

    Just ignore it and it might go away…

  9. enthusiastic

    Hey Valencianet and Graham,

    Pay a little bit of attention to Maria words.

    Would we judge USA just based in the control system on Madoff or Lehman Brothers or AIG?
    Would we think the US Health System is economically or socially efficient?

    Would we jugde Germany just for this?
    ** A Stolen Car Leaves Party in Germany at a Loss

    Would you think the UK is corrupt just because of this?,2933,520618,00.html
    ** U.K. House of Commons Speaker Resigns Over Expenses Scandal

    Come on! you’re smarter than that. Aren’t you?

    take care,
    enthusiastic follower

  10. valencia blog

    It’s not like we are supporting theses cases in the US, UK or Germany. And we are not shy to blog about these things as well (like the American Healthcare (as a German)):

    We have the feeling that you and Maria are pushing the agenda that foreigners can’t say anything negative about the country they are living in.

    Even we have the right to express ourselves freely. If you like it or not.

  11. Graham

    I never said that other places weren’t corrupt. The defence of “Well Spain is less corrupt than Nigeria” for example is not much of a defence. Just close your eyes and it might go away.
    The political class as a whole in all countries is corrupt to a greater or lesser extent

  12. New visitor

    So Funny,
    are you telling the writers of this blog what they have to write about? 😛

    The whole thing is starting to be a kind of “please, shut up, don’t have opinion and write only about light stuff. This is what we expect from you as foreigners…”

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