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Sunday, January 20, 2013 5:53 PM

Crisis in Madrid Update; Plan "A" is Sgt. Schultz Defense, No Plan "B" Yet

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As noted on Saturday Massive Fraud in Spain Threatens Entire Government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; Protestors in Madrid Shout "Resignation".

A wave of new articles has appeared, mostly from Spain, but a few this time in English.

Envelopes Stuffed With Cash

El Pais in English reports Former PP treasurer “handed out envelopes with cash” to party officials

Despite strenuous efforts by the ruling Popular Party (PP) to distance itself from Luis Bárcenas, who is in trouble with the law over corruption allegations, the party’s former treasurer continues to maintain an office in the PP headquarters in Madrid even after having left the group, party sources said Friday.

Bárcenas is implicated in the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts scandal, which first broke in 2008. Under an ongoing investigation into the corruption ring, it emerged earlier this week that Bárcenas had a bank account in Switzerland in which he had deposited as much as 22 million euros. He also took advantage of a tax amnesty in place last year to declare 10 million euros, which had previously been kept hidden from the tax authorities.

The PP sources said that despite stepping down as a senator and leaving the party in April 2010, Bárcenas has continued to appear in its Madrid headquarters, seeking help from PP officials to find a solution to the legal quagmire in which he finds himself. He was last seen in the building – located in Génova Street in the center of Madrid – as recently as Wednesday of this week.

Bárcenas, who was treasurer of the PP for 20 years, faces possible charges of money-laundering and tax evasion.

The sources said he still has a secretary in the building, who is on the payroll of the PP, and who makes telephone calls in his name as if he were still in the employ of the party.
Socialist Party to Lodge Criminal Complaint

El Pais in English reports Socialist Party to lodge criminal complaint over illicit PP bonuses.

Socialist Party leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba announced on Sunday that his opposition group will file a criminal complaint before the High Court asking for an investigation into the alleged payments of bonuses from secret accounts held by the Popular Party (PP) to its officials.

In the wake of the discovery that the PP’s former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, had 22 million euros in a Swiss account, Rubalcaba also said that he will call for a parliamentary investigation into the matter and demanded that both Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro appear before Congress.

For her part, PP secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal on Sunday went on the counterattack against the Socialists, saying that many past politicians in Castilla-La Mancha, when it was governed by the opposition party, made a lot of money then.

The scandal inside the party is expected to come to a head on Monday when Rajoy presides over the PP national executive committee meeting.

Got that?

The counterattack by the PP Secretary General is a claim the opposition party was equally fraudulent.

That's a charge I easily believe. Moreover, here is some supporting evidence.

Corruption allegations Surround Catalan Pujol Clan

From El Pais, also in English, Corruption allegations surround Catalan Pujol clan.
After many years of scrutiny and investigations, the Pujol-Ferrusola family of Catalonia — whose patriarch is a former regional premier and one of the region’s biggest political powerbrokers — has always been able to escape when allegations of impropriety and corruption have surfaced.

“For many years they have looked into my affairs and photographed everything but have never been able to pin anything on me,” said Jordi Pujol, the former leader of CDC, part of the CiU nationalist bloc, back in 1995.

But now, after a police report surfaced late last year suggesting that Pujol and his family may have secret Swiss bank accounts, along with the current premier and CiU leader, Artur Mas, investigators have taken a wider look at his sons’ activities.

On Thursday, the former girlfriend of Jordi Pujol Ferrusola testified before the High Court that she had helped him transport bags of 500 euro notes across the border into Andorra in the trunk of his car.

Bid rigging

Oriol Pujol, one of seven sons and the current secretary general of the CDC, is also being targeted in an ongoing investigation into bid fixing for ITV vehicle inspection stations in Catalonia. Last September, Barcelona Judge Silvia López Mejía wrote in a ruling that there were “rational indications” that Pujol had played a key part in the conspiracy.

The elder Pujol said these allegations against him and his family “are hurting the country.”

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola also reportedly received some lucrative contracts from the regional government. The first in 1991, when Natural Stone, a firm that specialized in quarry rock, won a 600,000-euro contract to supply marble for the floors at Barcelona’s El Prat airport. Pujol Ferrusola and his then wife Mercè Gironés, were respectively vice president and administrator at an affiliate, Natural Stone Marketing Centre.
Rajoy Implicated

Why stop there? Translated from El Pais in Spanish, please consider Accusations Unleash Gale.
In a particularly sensitive time for the government of Mariano Rajoy, after a year of deep cuts in spending on essential public services and many promises of austerity and transparency to improve the image of politicians, research advances Gürtel case , with discovery of secret accounts extesorero of this training have been a blow to the credibility of the PP.

In a particularly sensitive time for the government of Mariano Rajoy, after a year of deep cuts in spending on essential public services and many promises of austerity and transparency to improve the image of politicians, research advances Gürtel case , with discovery of secret accounts extesorero of this training have been a blow to the credibility of the PP.

The list of recipients of the alleged secret bonuses is opaque.

The treasury of the party, according to the environment and Lapuerta Barcenas, kept a list of the perceiver jealous of those amounts, which had two seats always fixed as beneficiaries of accessories: the president and the secretary general of the party. Sometimes benefited charges unrelated to those posts. Francisco Alvarez-Cascos, Angel Acebes and Javier Arenas, general exsecretarios PP, denied having received the supplement in its early or have known.

In defense of Rajoy, party supplies contributed several data: "Rajoy is a man of law, property registrar, and does not require or accept an envelope of money monthly. Moreover, Rajoy has been secretary of electoral action and never met with Correa. Maybe four party gulfs have maintained such practices or have been money, but not the current president and the current secretary general. "
Rajoy Silent, No Plan B

El Pais in Spanish reports Rajoy Silent, No Plan B.
"We have no plan B," admits a minister for the scandals are ruining his political agenda and his speech, with no reaction. On Friday, the ministers discussed among themselves, before and after the Council, the revelations about Barcenas , some moved to other of its decision to deny they had taken, but the meeting proceeded as if nothing had happened. Rajoy did not say anything.
In a particularly difficult translation to follow, El Pais reports The 'case Barcenas' reopens the war in the PP
Several national leaders of the PP have told this newspaper, on this line, that this should be seen as a move by a desperate former treasurer to blackmail Rajoy at a particularly sensitive time for his legal situation.

Rajoy yesterday launched several clear messages and outright refusal to [discuss] the former treasurer's performance.

PP leaders are considering the option of having this operation is part of a move to the highest level possible to try to defuse bombs that Barcenas has in his possession, a controlled explosion that saves Cospedal splash [Maria Dolores de Cospedal is the PP general secretary], presented both as ignorant of the illegal actions of Barcenas and, of course, as that stopped as soon as they knew.

Cospedal , in several radio interviews, stressed these days clear that she did not consisted payments and illegal financing stage. In that line impacted when on Friday, at a meeting of the PP in Almería, warned that such complaints before, "each must hold your candle stick". These statements have not sit well in the environments of the previous general secretaries, with whom Cospedal not maintain good tune. And no doubt the close confidence remains Cospedal Rajoy, so its performance is understood by its interest in protecting his head and let his image clean.
Sgt. Schultz Defense

Clearly Plan A is "I See Nothing, I hear Nothing, I Know Nothing". I have a couple of tributes in honor of the Sgt. Schultz Defense.

"I See Nothing"

I see nothing, I was not here, I did not even get up this morning"

link if Youtube video does not play: I see Nothing

"I Know Nothing"

I have no idea whether or not this defense will work. However, a massive effort by Rajoy's administration to sweep this all under the rug using the Sgt. Schultz defense is clearly underway.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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