Friendly Fascism, Corruption and Bubbles. How Spanish banks survived the crash of 2008.

This article gives a short history of fascism and corruption in Spain before describing the current financial problems and their relationship with property and finance.

“Looking back, we probably should have known Spain’s banks would end up this way, and that their reported financial results bore no relation to reality.”

Spain is attracting a great deal of news coverage for all the right reasons lately, but the Spanish people have suffered enough.

It has a recently re-instated monarchy, On 22 November 1975, two days after fascist dictator General Francisco Franco’s death, the Bourbon heir Juan Carlos was designated King according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. In 1969, when Franco named Juan Carlos as the next head of state, Spain had had no monarch for 38 years.

It has a King who,  as head of the Spanish “branch” of the World Wildlife Fund, thinks it appropriate to holiday in Botswana shooting elephants. That’s the King on the right (ahem)

The king’s daughter, la Infanta Christina Federica Victoria Antonia,  is married to Inaki Undangarin, Duke of Palma de Mallorca, who is currently facing charges of embezzlement of millions of euros.

It has a justice system in tatters, the Supreme Court suspended fellow Judge Baltasar Garzon from practicing for 11 years after investigating so called irregularities in Garzon’s investigation into wide scale corruption within the conservative Partido Popular. Up to 70 senior members were being investigated.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Dívar on Thursday resigned under pressure for charging 32 long weekend trips to Marbella and other Spanish destinations to the judiciary.

Carlos Divar had bi partisan support when appointed in 2008, the only candidate acceptable to the PP because of his “low profile”. This followed the appointments to the supreme court initiated by Jose Louis Aznar, ex- prime minister of Spain from 1996 – 2004. Aznar, now a very prominent member of Rupert Murdoch’s  News Ltd board, was a founder member of the “coalition of the willing” leading the “oil wars”, even before John Howard. The only natural resources Spain has is a small amount of coal in Asturia.

Aznar was “scholared” in politics by Manuel Fraga.  From 1951, Fraga served in various posts in the Franco regime, including minister for information and tourism.  He took part in the Transition (restoration of the Monarchy),  and formed the conservative People’s Alliance (AP), the precursor to the Popular Party (PP).

Fraga was known as a heavy-handed politician,  the drastic measures he took as chief of state security during the first days of the Spanish transition to democracy deeply damaged his popularity. The phrase “¡La calle es mía!” (“The streets are mine!”) was attributed to him. This phrase was his answer to complaints of police repression of street protests. He claimed that the streets did not belong to “people” but to the State.    

A certain sexual liberality in films was popularly summarized in the expression Con Fraga hasta la braga (“With Fraga [you can see] even the panties”).

Manuel Fraga with Gen Franco, “El Caudillo”, ‘the leader’.

Continue reading

BALTASAR GARZON, DEMOCRACY NOW INTERVIEW.

 BALTASAR GARZON IS INTERVIEWED BY AMY GOODMAN AND JUAN GONZALEZ in May 2011 before the November election swept Manuel Rajoy’s right-wing party to power in Spain. Since the election result was known on November 20th, (the anniversary of the death of dictator Francisco Franco), the “snails pace” Justice Department has proceeded with obscene haste to GET GARZON.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This interview gives the background for Garzon’s ability to apply Universal Jurisdiction to bring to justice dictators like Augusto Pinochet, and dispense justice on behalf of victims. It also reveals (via Wikileaks) the pressure put on the Spanish Govenrment by the U.S.A. to drop the case. But as can be seen, his actions have strong public support.

………………………..

……………………….

3 separate trials are now taking place consequatively forcing Garzon to defend himself consistently for up to 5 weeks in Spain’s highest court.

It is relevant to consider that Garzon was investigating the Gurtel corruption case involving up to 70 of Manuel Rajoy’s “Partido Popular” (PP). The Gürtel casefile consists of tens of thousands of pages describing possible financial irregularities and acts of personal favouritism within the Partido Popular. It´s regarded as the biggest political scandal since the corruption case against former Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz, who allegedly pocketed millions of euros from illegal real estate transactions.
The Gürtel investigation was opened by judge Baltasar Garzon, now himself an object of investigation before the supreme court for ordering investigations of crimes during the Franco-era and possible prevarication. Due to Garzon’s suspension, the Gurtel investigation has stopped.

Judge Baltasar Garzón is known for ordering the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and seeking to indict members of the Bush administration for their role in torturing prisoners. Now, Garzón himself is facing a trial in Madrid, after right-wing groups objected to his investigation of atrocities committed by supporters of the dictator Francisco Franco. While prosecutors reportedly disagreed with the charges that Garzón had exceeded his authority, Spanish law allows civilians to lodge criminal charges. If convicted, Garzón could lose his right to sit as a judge in Spain.

Garzón has used the doctrine of universal jurisdiction to investigate war crimes and torture across national lines, famously indicting Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda in 2003 and attempting to indict members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay and overseas.

THE REIGN IN SPAIN – FASCISM ON TRIAL NOT GARZON.

  Judge Baltasar Garzón is being investigated by Spain’s supreme court, charged with ‘perverting the course of justice’.

Thirty-five years after the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship, and of the Spanish civil war which came before it. Unfortunately, the defendant in the case is Baltasar Garzón, the judge who sought to investigate those crimes.

……………………………..

……………………………..

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Felipe Zapaterro called a Federal election for November 20th , 2011 –  his term of office was not due to expire until March 2012, he made the decision a full 12 months before then.

Why did he select the anniversary of the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco for the election he already knew he would lose?

Even before the full economic picture of Spain’s dire financial situation is revealed by Popular Party (PP) leader Manuel Rajoy, we are witnessing the “Inquisition” style persecution of Baltasar Garzon by the fascist element that lay dormant as the economic good times rolled. Everyone has been feeding at the trough, even the Royal Family is being investigated  as the King’s son-in-law faces charges of mis-appropriation of funds from corrupt regional governments.

Continue reading