Saturday, July 13, 2013


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 media glimpses of ledgers that appear to show that Spain’s leadership enriched itself for years with a secret slush fund.

But while the charge may be simple enough, the case is not. Having previously withheld information from the courts about secret Swiss accounts, the former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, who now sits in prison, seems less than fully credible, and the courts incapable of digging to the bottom on the matter with real speed.

The result is less a crisis for Mr. Rajoy — though he is certainly damaged, polls show — than one for Spain, its national morale and the credibility of its institutions, with all 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 for years, analysts say.