Seventeen years have passed since the socialist Pasqual Maragall denounced in a plenary session of the Catalan Parliament that the former Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (today PDECat) had “a problem with the 3 percent.” Maragall alluded to the network of commission agents and political influence that Convergència had been deploying with multiple businessmen, whom he benefited with public tenders in exchange for money to finance the party and the personal gain of various leaders. The 3 percent – the weight of the bites – has since become the symbol of widespread corruption that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor now describes as “systematic” in that Catalonia. There, the money obtained illegally emerged with the same ease with which the most radical bases of the independence movement did, which years later gave rise to the ‘procés’. Concluding the judicial investigation in 2020, now Anticorruption accuses some thirty businessmen and accountants, managers and treasurers of the CDC, for whom it claims up to 21 years in prison for belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering, fraud, bribery, prevarication and trafficking of influences. That is to say, the complete catalog of crimes typical of global corruption that proliferated between the years 2000 and 2015. The case of the 3 percent was nothing more than a perfected and institutionalized extension of the corruption carried out by the ‘Pujol clan’, the most scandalous case of illicit enrichment known in Catalonia. The formal accusation made by the Prosecutor’s Office is just one more demonstration of the double standards – of double immorality, better – of the independence movement, which while cultivating the break with Spain based on emotional and allegedly ‘liberating’ arguments, commits all possible illegalities of the penal map of corruption. From nationalism to separatism there was only one step, and Convergència took it to create its umpteenth smokescreen and hide what was a clamor throughout Catalonia and was about to be discovered. An entire massive corrupt system climbed on the backs of the independence movement to try to cover up its own shame, and when it wanted to establish “Spain steals from us” as the defining motto of its alibi, everything turned out to be a cover: they were the ones stealing, and they did it to the Catalans themselves. Evil became endemic and the ‘omertá’ around patronage corruption began to crumble. So much so, that some of the businessmen complicit in this organized plot have been forced to collaborate with the Justice to reduce years in prison. Convergència was never that party that pretended to be institutional to guarantee the governability of Spain, but the cover of an intransigent separatism that insisted on fleeing forward when it was surprised with so much dirt under the rugs. The amount of what was investigated amounts to 218 million in Convergència tenders, and more than nine million euros are credited in illegal donations just to finance the party. Not even the trick of passing the PDECat off as a party other than Convergència has gone well for them, because there is evidence that one is the successor of the other, and that the only relevant change was purely one of appearance. Just as the ERC and the PDECat advocate the deactivation of the crime of sedition, it is worth wondering if they will now also demand that the Government disable money laundering, fraud, bribery, prevarication, or influence peddling to keep the impunity of independence safe. The problem is not only with the unity of Spain no matter how much they overreact, but with the Penal Code, corruption, and the rottenness of a system that they devised only to finance themselves and get hold of easy money. Among the 30 defendants for Anticorruption, there are various businessmen from up to seventeen companies that participate in the corrupt system of the ‘3 percent’. It would not be fair to focus criticism and denunciation only on politicians. Without businessmen in search of public contracts, with the desire to please the established power and with the desire to make money, even with the shady methods of bribery, this type of political corruption would not be feasible. Without fearful businessmen to receive awards from public administrations at any cost, that plot would never have existed. They are an aliquot and relevant part of the problem and, to a great extent, necessary collaborators in the degradation of the system. So corrupt is the businessman who offers himself as the politician who concedes and agrees, because this vicious and perverse circle is fed in this way. Regeneration is still pending in our policy, but also in many unscrupulous entrepreneurs.
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