Look at this map which shows how people in various European countries view the effects of corruption and Spain, along with Greece, tops the list. An in depth study claims that corruption costs the European economy 120 billion euros a year. I would hazard a guess that a fair proportion of that money can be attributed to Spain.
In Spain, the problem mainly centres around political corruption.
Today, we read details of the gifts that were lavished on members of the PP party by Francisco Carrea in return for lucrative government contracts. Mention is made of boxes of Cuban cigars at 450 euros each, of 6,000 euro plasma TVs, a luxury safari in Kenya for one politician and even a honeymoon in Mauritius for another.
The long running Gürtel case into illegal funding of the ruling party has so far only resulted in the conviction of Judge Balthazar Garzon, who was given an 11-year suspension for illegally wiretapping conversations between remand prisoners and their lawyers when he was in charge of the case.
There are many who have been implicated, including the Prime Minister, but of course the process of collecting sufficient evidence to bring these cases to court will take a long time. In the meantime, the whole business of corruption in Spain is a cause of great concern to the majority of honest Spaniards.