New York Times: Spain’s Real Crisis Is a Leadership Void, Analysts Say


Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy fading off into oblivion

The sense of scandal surrounding Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has crested yet again, after another week of allegations and denials in which the former treasurer of his Popular Party continued to drip-feed the news media glimpses of ledgers that appear to show that Spain’s leadership enriched itself for years from a secret slush fund.

But while the accusation may be simple enough, the case is not. The former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, seems less than fully credible: he has been jailed as a flight risk, having previously withheld information from the courts about secret Swiss accounts. Mr. Rajoy may well stonewall, seeking to string out the case beyond the end of his scheduled mandate in 2015 and the next election. The overburdened courts appear incapable of digging to the bottom on the matter with real speed.

For the moment, the result is less a crisis for Mr. Rajoy — though he is certainly damaged — than one for Spain, its national morale and the credibility of its institutions, carrying the risk that the steady drumbeat of allegations will deny recession-hit Spain strong leadership and distract the government from pressing economic concerns as the scandal unspools, analysts say, possibly for years.

Read @ New York Times

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