Although by this stage it's no longer any great news, the fact that National Audience judge Manuel García-Castellón should have charged Esperanza Aguirre for various crimes including, among others, the irregular funding of the Partido Popular (PP) between 2003 and 2011, and have summonsed her to testify on 18th October, means the fall of a great legend of the Spanish right. Aguirre, implacable with her adversaries, champion of discretion with the public funds she managed during many years at the head of the Community of Madrid, ruthless with party colleagues who went against her, and capable of giving all kinds of lessons under a false appearance of flawlessness, is going to have a taste of her own medicine over the irregular funding of the Madrid PP. An organisation she chaired and which helped her to win comfortable electoral victories. "Corruption is what they're not going to charge me with, you can be very calm". These words from Aguirre, known colloquially as la lideresa ("the leader") to her friends, responding to an opposition delegate, still echo within the four walls of the Madrid Assembly.
Aguirre was, according to different reports from the Civil Guard used by anti-corruption prosecutors to call for her to be charged and for the judge to accept it, at the head of the pyramid of irregular funding, something she has always denied. In the list of 43 people summonsed by the judge, also found in an identical situation to Aguirre is her successor, Cristina Cifuentes. The two will sit in the dock accused of an electoral offense, false accounting, malfeasance and influence peddling. Newspaper archives are full of videos of Aguirre, especially, given her many years on the political front line, proclaiming her implacable fight against corruption and her zero tolerance. Speeches which don't stand up with, in her case, always in the background a heated defence of the unity of Spain and fervent criticism of independence supporters. What's certain is that the list of leaders of the Madrid PP from the very front line charged stretches from 1995 to 2018, 23 years.
It's forever surprising that, despite all the presidents of the Community of Madrid from 2003 to 2018 having been charged with corruption, except Ángel Garrido, and all of them having been from the PP, Ciudadanos should have supported until very few months ago Isabel Díaz Ayuso, from the same party, for the role. It's unlikely that with Ayuso, who not so long ago said she wanted to have Aguirre and Cifuentes close and to count on them because they are valuable, the necessary political regeneration will come to the Community of Madrid. It forever causes great bewilderment that the PP, in these circumstances and with the history it's starting to build up, should still be considered a party of state. And one final question: Will Ayuso be the next president of Madrid to go to trial?