Corruption ranks second in Spaniards’ worries

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The Sociology Research Centre (CIS in its Spanish acronym) surveys Spaniards monthly about their worries, feelings and assessments concerning the country’s political and economic situation. The statistical set provides a picture of Spanish society’s state of opinion. Last November poll suggests such a pessimistic scenario as those of previous months in past four years, but adding some details that makes that pessimism even darker. Firstly corruption, which ranked a residual position among citizens’ worries just a few years ago, has climbed to second.

77%  of surveyed includes unemployment, undoubtedly the most serious Spain’s problem, within their first three concerns list. Meanwhile, 33% consider corruption the other big burden for the country. These results are consistent with Transparency International’s report published current week. According to that organisation’s corruption index, Spain goes back to the worst position in the European Union.

Political leaders try to diminish the importance of these feelings, and when asked about the matter they answer that corruption is not a general practice, that it is in human being nature and is not a problem, or that cases in the public eye are manageable exceptions. Spanish people do not seem to think the same, and connecting the problem to the influence of newspapers, which focus on that pathological behaviour excessively, represents a very poor explanation. As pointed out by CIS’ surveys, only under a third of citizens read papers regularly, receiving information basically via TV or radio, which usually give lower priority to corruption cases.

Furthermore, figures on how Spaniards assess current political and economic situation are overwhelming: 98% consider that ecomomic circumstances are bad or very bad; 90% think that it remains the same that last year or even worsened, and 70% estimates that it will be continued the same or worsen. The fact that 20% of surveyed people feel that things will improve is the most positive point in all this set of questions.

Regarding Spain’s political environment, results are similar: 80% say that it is bad or very bad, while 90% affirm that it has worsened and 80% do not feel confident the situation will be better.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.

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