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EYE-BALL Opinion – How close are we to Spain – Corruption leads to riots –

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Title:
– How close are we to Spain –
– Corruption leads to riots –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 3rd Feb 2013|
The overnight news from Spain about reasons for riots is very close to home – at the heart of the matter is the people’s reluctance to accept the Prime Minister’s response to allegations of the taking and payment of political bribes.

The story reported on Sky News is one of many News feed stories that highlight political corruption around the globe in any given week.   It is endemic and why politicians feel to need to foster their own financial position is a trait that is on the increase.   It has been around for centuries but of late – the amounts involved i.e. Obeid $100+ million give new meaning to the cost taxpayers have to pay.

The Sky News report follows:

Clashes erupt after Spanish PM’s speech


| Date: Feb 3rd, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

Riot police clashed with protesters in Madrid and impromptu demonstrations broke out in several other Spanish cities following the prime minister’s televised denial he had accepted under-the-table payments.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy promised to publicly disclose the amount of funds in all his personal bank accounts, denying recent media reports that allege he and members of his governing conservative Popular Party accepted or made under-the-table payments.

Speaking at a special executive committee meeting on Saturday at his party’s Madrid headquarters, Rajoy said ‘it is false’ that he received or distributed undeclared money.

‘Next week, my statements of income and assets will be made available to all citizens,’ he said, adding they would be published on the official website of the prime minister.

By late Saturday it was clear Rajoy’s pledge had failed to defuse popular disquiet as riot police cordoned off several of Madrid’s main avenues in a bid to stop protesters from gathering in large groups.

Attorney-General Eduardo Torres-Dulce said on Friday there was sufficient cause to investigate allegations of irregular financing within Rajoy’s party.

Leading newspaper El Pais has published details of secret papers belonging to former party treasurer Luis Barcenas allegedly documenting undeclared payments.

The money was allegedly paid by businesses, many linked to the once booming construction industry, before the sector imploded in 2008.

El Pais said nearly two-thirds of the alleged payments violated Spain’s party financing laws.

‘I have never received or handed out ‘black money’ in this party or anywhere else,’ Rajoy said.

Following the appearance of the allegations, opposition parties demanded Rajoy break his silence of recent days, with some calling for his resignation and the holding of national elections.

Demonstrations broke out late Saturday in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Valladolid, and Sevilla calling on the party to explain its finances.

A strong police presence has in every case stopped protesters from getting close to Rajoy’s Popular Party headquarters, saying the demonstrations were not legally convened.

‘It’s absurd,’ said Miguel Gomez, 30, demonstrating about 90 metres from Rajoy’s party headquarters in downtown Madrid – as close as protesters could get.

‘They’re telling us these payments don’t appear in the books, but of course they don’t. We’re talking about ‘black cash.’ They’re having a laugh at our expense.’

The revelations come at a delicate moment for Spain, which is beginning to show signs of convincing investors and European authorities that it is serious about reforming the economy and keeping its finances in check to avoid a full bailout like Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus.

The scandal broke when the National Court reported recently that Barcenas had amassed an unexplained 22 million euros ($A28.9 million) in Swiss bank accounts several years ago.

Barcenas was the party’s long-time treasurer, but resigned in 2009 when his name first appeared in the court’s probe into alleged irregular financing practices by the party.

His lawyer has denied the Swiss account money was illegally obtained or linked to the party.

The lists published by El Pais said the documents showed that as of 1997, Rajoy received about 25,000 euros in ‘envelopes’ each year.

‘They need to resign for sure and return the money,’ said Eva Caballero, 52.

‘They also should be banned from politics and we need a strict ethical code in politics.’

Many of the payments occurred during Spain’s boom years of the late 1990s when the Popular Party was in power and the construction industry made the country one of the most successful economies in the European Union.

The corruption scandal is the latest to rock Spain, with dozens of other cases involving bankers, politicians, town councillors and even the royal family.

But this one has shocked people more, given that Rajoy and his party are demanding enormous sacrifices of Spaniards as the country battles a double-dip recession and 26 per cent unemployment.

The focus on political corruption in this Nation is very concentrated at the moment in three high profile cases:

  1. – the ICAC inquiry into the Obeid family – how deep is goes expands each week and we all know and suspect there will be some cover up in the end result to protect some of those involved.
  2. – the HSU Williamson/Thompson fraud involving millions,
  3. – the AWU scandal going back 20 odd years that will claim a Prime Minister and many MP’s who served in the Union when the Fraud happened and was covered up.

If one was to add the profession of ‘lobbyist’ to the potential for corruption – all politicians are in the firing line.  Lobbying by any definition is ‘professional sanctioned bribery’.

To allow the practice of corporate vested interest like land developers and the like to make cash donations to individuals, or Party campaign funds is nothing other than cash being paid over for potential favours down the track.

The current AWU scandal is about a Corporate – i.e. Thiess Construction, paying funds into Union accounts to buy Union favour.  The interesting fact is that the WA Government paid Thiess the funds they used to buy the Union concession.

The riots in Spain – where 26% unemployment ensures – gives an insight to future directions for other Western Nations descending into their own financial chaos.

Australian Politicians could take a lead and get in front of the political corruption damage currently being caused by the Obeid, the AWU, the HSU, and other Union frauds being played out across Australia at the moment.

It is not restricted to ALP Members – Howard sacked Ministers for rorting the Telstra sale when specifically told to stay away during her term as PM.

We are now in election mode and any acknowledgement by all candidates during the campaign to the damage the Obeid, HSU, and AWU has caused to MP creditability, and an intent to instigate measures and audit procedures to investigate all candidates and Members financial records, will be news the electorate wants to hear.

Be warned – practice corruption at your peril.

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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  1. February 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    NSW Opposition MP John Robertson has proposed new rules in a post Obeid era = his comments below:

    … NSW Labor will try to make a desperately needed break with the Eddie Obeid era through a new set of rules designed to root out politicians ”motivated by personal gain”.

    The Opposition Leader, John Robertson, will launch on Sunday a six-point manifesto, ”A New Standard”, forcing Labor MPs to reveal their taxable income for the first time.

    State politicians, including O’Farrell government MPs, are required to reveal only their sources of income, not the amount. During his political career, Mr Obeid would routinely claim his parliamentary salary as his only source of income. The Independent Commission Against Corruption has since revealed a web of family trusts that paid out to Mr Obeid and his wife, Judith.

    Under Mr Robertson’s plan, Labor MPs will be made to divulge the pecuniary interests of spouses and dependent children or any family member holding a contract with the state government, from March 31.

    …Read more …

  2. February 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Also – a story on the Australia Wheat Board cover up :extracted from a 7th Jun 2012 story in the SMH titled: “Top job ‘offered to end probe'” – link to story … here …

    …Mr Fusca, a 30-year AFP veteran, has declared the inquiry was never given enough resources and was shut down prematurely.
    Advertisement

    And he has claimed the police’s AWB taskforce – which ran between late 2006 and August 2009 – had a high-level political informant who indicated that federal government officials had been aware of AWB’s payment of kickbacks.

    In an interview with The Age and ABC television’s 7.30 program, Mr Fusca said he believed the offer of a promotion represented an improper inducement.

    Mr Fusca’s Federal Court statement also alleges that a day after the offer of promotion was made, another senior AFP officer had pressured him to finish the taskforce’s work prematurely.

    Read more:here

  3. The Parable
    February 4, 2013 at 5:18 am

    In the light of Newspoll and Galaxy Poll released this morning;

    Dear Prime Minister,
    You can fool some of the people all of the time.
    You can fool all of the people some of the time,
    But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    As the NSW ALP attempts to rebuild its brand after being decimated in 2011, it is a long road back to being significant. What chance has Robertson got when we get daily reminders like Eddie Obeid. This will be the Federal fate, who will attempt to rebuild the brand. Sheldon’s comments are interesting given his name is no that valourious.

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