Politicians and Judges

The very evident disdain that the average Spaniard holds for his country’s political class is well known, so with signs of clear political infiltration within the Judicial System, it should surprise few that the various judicial entities of the land have taken a tumble in public esteem, as well.

The country observed how the top judicial body, the Supreme Court allegedly upheld the bending of the rules to go after Baltazar Garzón for taking Franco to court, which left Spaniards feeling ashamed before the international dismay expressed.

And now, we have the Government, which enjoys an absolute majority, blocking a call for the Chairman of the General Board for the Judicial Power to explain before the Parliament how he managed to claim 13,000 euros for trips to Marbella, with his family, which strongly indicates journeys for personal motives rather than work ones.

Sr. Carlos Dívar made around 20 trips to Marbella over a period of four years, charging some of his luxury hotel, restaurant bills to the State.

The Catalán nationalist party, the CiU, has backed the Government, but this manoeuvre is purely ‘cosmetic,’ as the ruling PP have an ample majority to effectively block the motion – one might wonder what the price tag attached was but evidently the Government feels it worthwhile to give the impression of wider political support for the blocking move.

The Government argues that the judicial body to which Sr Dívar belongs is one of the powers of the state and as such does not have to justify how it spends it’s budget to Parliament. Some, however, argue that he does have to justify it to the Spanish public, who are represented by Parliament – they, after all, are the ones that have to pick up the tab.

The chief opposition party, the PSOE, says that it intends to take the matter to the Tribunal of the Constitution, which exists to safeguards people’s constitutional rights. The PSOE argue that Parliament, or Congress, as it is known in Spain, has every right to know how the money assigned by the Congress, within the annual national budget, is spent.

It is a sad day for the country, as if it didn’t have enough woes with the economic crisis.

(News: Madrid, Spain)

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