‘We need CHANGE’ Spain slammed for ignoring global pressure to crackdown on corruption

Elected political officials of Spain’s parliament have failed to comply with recommendations of the Council of Europe on the prevention of corruption in Parliament for four and a half years, according to a report.

Four years after issuing the first warnings, the European body which looks after human rights and democracy in the continent notes that Madrid shows little progress.

Gianluca Esposito, executive secretary of the Group of States against Corruption under the Council of Europe, said: “The report speaks for itself. Four and a half years after publishing the 11 recommendations, none has been fulfilled. We have a small problem.”

The Interim Compliance Report attributes to Spain a “globally unsatisfactory” compliance, although in seven of the 11 epigraphs some progress is recorded.

The Greco group, made up of 48 European countries and the United States, appealed to the credibility of the institutions to urge Spain to implement new measures to regain public trust in the state.

Mr Esposito added: “We need to change things. There is more chance of avoiding corruption if preventive measures improve. This is particularly relevant in Spain; since 2013 the need for citizens to regain confidence in political powers has been pointed out.”

Since 2005, Greco had been carrying out evaluation rounds in more than forty countries to analyse their situation regarding the fight against corruption. 

Spain is now immersed in the fourth round, whose object of study is the members of national parliaments and judges and prosecutors.

The European institution asks to create a code of conduct for deputies and senators to resolve possible conflicts of interest and establish protocols for the acceptance of gifts and communication of economic interests.

In the report, Greco acknowledges the progress, but calls for additional measures, such as reporting the market value of the properties owned by the deputies, detailing the interest paid on the loans of consigning the gifts and sponsored trips they have enjoyed. 

Spain now has until December 31 2018 to report on the actions taken to improve the prevention of corruption in the legislative and judicial branches.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.