Catalan corruption

“The degree of corruption of most administrations is more or less equivalent in different times and circumstances…”

Valencian novelist Ferran Torrent has got a new book out, the second in his Valencian trilogy. Ferran’s local football team plays a key role in Espècies Protegides (“Protected Species”), a satire on corruption in a region where the socialists have failed to mount any kind of opposition to an increasingly powerful and electorally successful Partido Popular machine. Foreign coverage of Spanish affairs unfortunately tends to revolve around the Barcelona-Madrid axis, so it would be illuminating to see something of Torrent’s in English translation.

In Catalunya corruption has probably been limited to some extent by the balancing of socialist urban dominance by Pujolist nationalist-lite regional government. However it’s still depressing to find elderly, allegedly bibulous socialist Pasqual Maragall cynicising in his new book, Els Orígens del Futur (“The Origins of the Future”), that:

The degree of corruption of most administrations is more or less equivalent in different times and circumstances… Corruption only becomes an burning issue when the populace is annoyed with an administration for other reasons.

Maragall still has important questions to answer concerning the tendering process for major infrastructural projects during his period as mayor of Barcelona, and a statement like this would make him unelectable in some other parts of the world. As it is, I think he’s going to win the forthcoming elections for the Catalan regional presidency.

Valencia are in town tonight, having felled mighty Real last week. Phil Ball says that their siege mentality will win them the league this year, and the combination of their mean defensive record and the inability of Rijkaard’s team to get very much on target means that tonight’s fixture may not lead to wild excitement in the local bars. I’m going to be up at four tomorrow morning, so that at least is good news.

1) Phil Ball’s Morbo: the Story of Spanish Football:
2) Ferran Torrent’s Espècies Protegides:

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