Marbella,Spain: taking planning corruption to the next level

From Bloomberg…

**Marbella’s Billionaire Spent Bribes on Tiger-Guarded Stud Farm **

*As an urban planning adviser in the sun- drenched Spanish resort town of Marbella, Juan Antonio Roca had after- tax income of less than 150,000 euros a year.

When he was arrested for corruption in March 2006, police seized assets worth 2.4 billion euros ($3.4 billion), including a century-old palace in Madrid, a country estate equipped with a helipad overlooking the Rock of Gibraltar and a stud farm guarded by a tiger.

According to a 451-page July 2007 indictment by Marbella prosecutor Miguel Angel Torres, Roca also owned a ranch to raise fighting bulls, a private jet, a helicopter and a painting by Spanish master Joan Miro.

Known in Marbella as “The Boss,” Roca has become Spain’s national symbol of municipal corruption amid the boom and bust of the country’s real estate industry…*

Liam Lawlor had nothing on this fella… No tigers guarding stud farms in Lucan, was there?

After Haughey, corruption changed in Ireland. It became less visable.

Remember Jesus Gil,corrupt beyond belief ,but people turned a blind eye because “he got things done!”

Ah yes, and Mussolini made the trains run on time. What is it with Catholic countries ?

The Prods (especially the non-Anglicans) would say it’s because we’re trained from birth to accept the notion of Priests, Bishops and Popes - Hierarchies, basically - and unquestioning obedience to religious figures then translates easily into unquestioning obedience to temporal powers. The Man At The Top cannot do wrong, because if he did stuff wrong then he wouldn’t be at the top, would he? Accepting that Bertie was corrupt is like accusing the Pope of being a baby-eating mass-murderer. Or something. It then follows that being involved in the corruption yourself cannot be really wrong, because if the people in Authority are doing it it must automatically be (somehow) morally justified and correct, otherwise people in Authority wouldn’t be doing it.

Course Calvinist countries have their own, albeit different, rampant corruption caused by the strong strain in Calvinism that money is in itself a sign of God’s Grace, and that the Elect are Predestined to go to heaven no matter what. So it’s very easy for someone from a Calvinist society to convince themselves that their scam artistry is actually a good thing because the money rolling in proves they are touched by God and going to heaven anyway.

Religion :unamused:

This may sound cynical (because it probably is)…

Most societies be they religious or not have a certain corruption built into them due to a fundamental flaw in human nature. In many ways it can be said that each society has it’s own particular brand of corruption. Eastern societies are very hierachial in nature without ever having embraced Christianity (or monotheism), and there’s definitely a share of corruption there. Middle-eastern and African countries seem to be the most corrupt of all, with an unbelieveable gap between haves and have-nots.

The scale and manner of the corruption is perhaps the most interesting aspect. I think the USA and Britian are quite corrupt, with most of the corruption carried out by wealthy elites who have a disproportionate influence on law-makers. In Europe, I think Germany has a low degree of corruption because of the manner in which their last few administrations and societies were completely and spectacularly swept aside by (losing) wars. France is similar in that it has had it’s fair share of revolutions since Louis XVI’s execution.

Sweden, Finland and Norway seem to be relatively corruption free. I wonder why?

The problem in in Ireland isn’t corruption per se, but tolerance of it, which allows it to spread.

Does this deserve a thread of it’s own?

Interesting observation. We have BIG HEARTS here compared to other cultures. But are let down by our extreme herd mentality and distrust of intellectualism - hence tolerance of the cute hoor??

Ah now c’mon.

We had Charlie with a mansion in Kinsealy, a private island, yachts, racehorses and a helicopter company as a public servant in perma-recession 1970s and 80s Ireland.

Sounds like this Spanish guy was a student of the real master.

I’ve spent more than 12 years working in Latin countries and I came to the (half-serious) conclusion some time ago that the sacrament of confession has something to do with it.

In Catholic culture, you can act the maggot all you want, just as long as you pop into the confession box once in a while and make a clean breast of it. The fact that an intermediary between you and God (the priest) tells you that your sins are forgiven makes everything OK and you are free to pass Go, collect €200 and start sinning again (having said the mandatory 5 Hail Mary’s or whatever).
Protestant culture places a lot more emphasis on personal relationship with God, so you confess your sins in private and don’t get the forgiveness feedback. So you’re more likely to watch your step.

Graham Greene asked a priest if it was OK to sleep around after being to confession, provided he confessed the next time around again, priest said OK.

France/Germany/Belgium/Austria have Catholic backgrounds, and they’re pretty straight. I think Italian/Irish/Latin American corruption is more down to history and form of government than anything. Italy is still a fragmented country with a significant organized crime problem and a fractured sense of nationality due to all the different kingdoms/rulers throughout the years.

Shagging heathens - poor behaviour is not spawned by religiosity - it’s the other way round, need to justify it somehow.

Man made God in his own image.

Germany, home of the reformation, is more Protestant than Catholic, though many areas (most of Bavaria, around Cologne etc) are predominantly Catholic. As to HCMh’s theory about confession, I remember being in conversation with two Germans of Protestant background (though possibly athiests now) who said almost the exact same thing. They weren’t talking about corrpution per se, but the sort of “get out of jail free” card that Catholics had. This was probably 10 years ago.

Tbh… I think the Latin Americans learned the corruption off us…

I mean the armies of Chile and Argentina and most of the state of Chile was set up by an Irishman, Bernardo O’Higgins avenue I ask you!!!

All fine and well but look at it this way, they have endemic corruption, manana and the fiesta…

Sound familiar?!?

Sure they learned from the best…

Ireland isn’t like Latin America… Ireland is Latin America…

Latin Ireland is like america, if that makes any sense.

Ireland is Andalucia with rain and cold and aggression - as well as the well-honed propensity of the majority of people to avoid the provision of a straight answer to anything - and to even answer a question with a question - repeatedly

In other words, Irish people are what Latins would be like if they woke up one day and found that they were forced to live on a rain sodden rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean