Tuesday, April 21, 2009


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!


Prospero said...

Great blog, Sancho!
Did you know that the word gil, much used in Southern South America, means 'jerk' and 'prat'? Jesús (never a less appropriate name)was surnamed Gil y Gil and so, was both. (May I be forbidden -er, forgiven- for staining a dead man's name, though he did a pretty good job of it himself, it must be said.)

Cybernest said...

Interesting post Sancho!

The extent of corruption in Spain comes as no surprise to those of us who have lived beside them for centuries.... and it is not limited to Town Halls or Lawyers!

I'll tell you the list I'd really like to see... and that is that of bank accounts held in offshore jurisdictions in places like Gibraltar by those hypocrites... Spanish politicians, who continually criticise Gibraltar's offshore finance centre. I would hazard a guess... there's quite a few!

Cybernest said...

You're absolutely right Prospero... old Jesus Gil may have been a bit of a rogue (to say the least) but he certainly cleaned up Marbella in his time as Mayor there.... though some may argue quite rightly that he also sullied much of what he touched with his corruptive regime. He also did a good job of his stewardship at Atletico Madrid... and many mourned his passing at the same time as they accepted that he was an out and out rogue.

Your mention of 'Prat' and the talk on lawyers in Sancho's post reminds me of the joke about the chap who was complaining about how badly he had been represented by a firm of lawyers called Prat Prat & Whitney. This fellow was saying that he had originally been thankful that his case was going to be handled by Mr Whitney the third partner. Unfortunately... it appears Mr Whitney turned out to be the biggest prat of them all! :)

Saludos! :)