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Memoria e Ricerca

The denunciation of corruption as a means of gaining power in Spain (1989-1996)

di Francisco Sevillano, Glicerio Sànchez Recio
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 32 (2009), p. 79

This article examines the public denunciation of political life in Spain during the second period of the long years of PSOE government, presided over by Felipe González from 1982 to 1996. During those years, with a consolidated democracy in place, the main opposition party, the conservative PP, called on the socialist leaders to deal with the corruption among those holding political office – particularly from the beginning of 1989. Not only did the denunciation of the various cases of corruption and of the “dirty war” against ETA terrorism occupy the political agenda as a means of challenging and discrediting the government, but it also led to a “corrosion” of the political discourse that had characterized the democratic transition in Spain. With regard to these events in recent political life in Spain, the article emphasizes that political scandal is a slightly different phenomenon from corruption, understood as an abuse of the law that undermines the political system.