Many town halls in Spain, such as the Ayuntamiento de Marbella where Jesús Gil held court, are mired in sleaze. So how do you tell the good from the bad?
Sadly the legal profession in Marbella is also involved in corrupt practices – there were three further arrests last week for money laundering on behalf of the Russian mafia – however a lawyer in the town, José Cosín, has launched “El Corruptómetro” where people can check the standing and transparency of their local political parties and town hall.
He has used the template laid out by Transparencia Internacional – a NGO dedicated to combating corruption, which in Spain is headed by the respected lawyer Antonio Garrigues Walker. It establishes 33 questions that have to be answered to determine where the local parties and town halls stand on a scale of transparency and anti corruption.
The information can be accessed by the public by consulting the website at: http://www.corruptometro.es/ In the rankings for 2008 the city of Bilbao is the most transparent in Spain. At the foot of the list are Orihuela and Torrevieja who both receive a score of zero out of a possible 100.
Go to the website and you can check out your town hall for yourself although only the larger municipalities are currently covered. It also lists councillors that are deemed to be corrupt and gives visitors the opportunity to place their gradings. It makes interesting reading!