PSOE takes Rajoy to task over 2008 election funding

Police operations against money laundering in Spain spiked in 2010

The number of Civil Guard and police operations against money laundering in Spain has risen dramatically since 2005. Last year, the authorities launched 175 operations, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2009. Money laundering in Spain is worth billions of euros to organized criminals and the 2010 investigations revealed the involvement of at least 119 separate syndicates.

According to the investigators, some of the most prominent political scandals of recent years have concealed tens of millions from the tax office, with high-office holders among the end beneficiaries. In total, 58 percent of the authorities' operations against money laundering targeted drug-trafficking organizations, while at least 30 of the groups investigated obtained their ill-gotten gains through political corruption.

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Valencia regional premier Francisco Camps resigns

The largest such current investigation in Spain, the Gürtel scandal, claimed Valencia regional premier Francisco Camps last month and on Monday Popular Party leader (PP) Mariano Rajoy faced uncomfortable scrutiny of the opposition's involvement with the now-defunct network.

Antonio Hernando, electoral vice-coordinator for the Socialist Party (PSOE), asked Rajoy to reveal the source of funding for the PP's campaign in Valencia in 2008, in which the PP leader played a prominent role. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor has presented a report to the Supreme Court in Madrid against 16 people - including four PP regional deputies - in relation to events held by the opposition during the 2008 general election campaign.

"Before a new campaign begins, Mariano Rajoy should provide explanations over 2008," Hernando said. "He should say who financed it, who paid for electoral events and who the administrator was he named as candidate. The issue now is not three suits but something much more serious and dirty: the illegal financing of an election campaign."

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