No less than seven parties with representation in the Spanish parliament - ERC, JxCAT, the CUP, the BNG, Més País, Compromís and Bildu - have set up talks aimed at starting an investigation into new espionage allegations centred on the corrupt accounting and financial practices which, as other corruption trials have already proved, were used for years by the country's main right wing party, the PP.
Specifically, the parties want Congress to look into the so-called Operation Kitchen: the use which the PP made of state institutions to prevent the now-convicted former party treasurer Luís Bárcenas from revealing all the information he had on the party's illegal parallel accounts. According to ERC spokesman in the Congress of Deputies, Gabriel Rufián, "the use of state mechanisms not only outside, but within the PP itself would [if demonstrated] even make it possible to outlaw the party."
The investigation into Operation Kitchen led by Spain's National Audience court had been confidential, but that secrecy was lifted by the judge on Monday. The court report now released affirms that during prime minister Mariano Rajoy's mandate, the interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz and his number two Francisco Martínez, along with the general secretary of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, all pushed forward a plan to spy on ex-treasurer Bárcenas and try to steal compromising information he held on the PP leadership.
Rufián asserts that the logic of a parliamentary commission on the PP corruption "is self-explanatory" and the parliamentary majority will "have a hard time" saying no to it. The ERC representative adds that the intention is also to talk to the governing parties, the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, to seek their support for the petition which will be registered soon.
"If [members of the PP] did this to each other, what wouldn't they have done to others?" asks Rufián, asserting that "it would be positive to know exactly how far the PP goes when it doesn't like something or someone."
Rufián believes that the current PP leader, Pablo Casado, is obliged to give an explanation on the affair, because although the PP has renewed its governing bodies, he is the current president of the party, and was already part of it when the alleged activities took place. However, said the ERC politician, "he probably won't explain, or if he does, he'll blame others."