Destinations Magazine

Clean Hands

By Stizzard
Clean hands

IN MAY 2014 Isabel Carrasco was murdered as she walked across a footbridge over the Bernesga river in the north-western Spanish city of León. Ms Carrasco, a controversial local bigwig in the People’s Party (PP) of the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, was shot at point-blank range by the mother of a young woman whom she had excluded from her political patronage network. (The young woman, the daughter of a local police chief, had been refused a government job.) It was an act of madness, but within the local political context it made a crazy kind of sense. “This was about cronyism, about her daughter’s career,” said Juan Carlos Fernández, a local spokesman for Ciudadanos, a political party that campaigns against corruption.

As Spain prepares for national elections on December 20th, cronyism is near the top of voters’ concerns. Both the PP and the opposition Socialists, who have taken turns in government for the past 33 years, are viewed by voters as deeply corrupt. The Socialists once hoped that anger at Mr Rajoy’s austerity programme would bring them back to power. But an economic recovery may allow the PP to hold on.

Many Spaniards have…

The Economist: Europe

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