The case of the ERE’s (public funds received through a redundancy process) is rocking the regional Andalusia administration, the Junta de Andalucia. It appears that millions of euros were paid out to workers being allegedly laid off at companies undergoing bankruptcy, whereas in reality these workers were either just fictitious names or real people who had never worked a day in the said companies. The term being used extensively is ‘reptile funds.’
In 2001, la Junta de Andalucía, then headed by Manuel Chaves, started a process to financially back companies in trouble; ones that had begun bankruptcy proceedings. The funds were used to finance early retirement or layoffs. To start with, this reptile fund reached 721m euros but it was later increased to 1,217m euros. It is calculated that no fewer than 136m euros went astray.
According to the judge’s investigations, these two top workers’ unions (The UGT and the CCOO) received 3,2m euros from Uniter, 4.2m euros from Vitalia and 104,400 euros from Estudio Juridicos Villasis, giving a total of 7.6m euros, thanks to illegal commissions on the money going to companies and individuals. No bills were given by the unions in exchange for these funds; supposed non-traceable commissions.
We won’t go into it further, but it is indicative of why the Spaniards consider their country to be infested by corruption.