MADRID — The stench of corruption clings to Spanish politics — and especially to the ruling Popular Party of Mariano Rajoy.
Between July 2015 and September 2016, 1,378 officials or politicians from across the spectrum faced trial on corruption charges, according to the General Council for the Judiciary.
The PP is desperately trying to keep its litany of scandals off the political agenda. But, with the liberal Ciudadanos party breathing down its neck in polls and high-profile cases rarely out of the headlines, the party has been forced to shift its position. Where it previously insisted allegations were either unfounded or politically motivated, Rajoy’s PP now acknowledges there has been a problem.
Yet in a country frequently wracked by scandal, one particular case promised to shed new light on the shady wheelings and dealings of the ruling party. Even so, few anticipated the frank admission of wrongdoing that a key defendant in