Monday, May 23

The commission class (the “bisnes”)

Honest trade sucks no one’s blood


How much is it worth when someone picks up the phone for who you are? How much to put in contact two people you know? For most honest mortals the answer is: nothing. Normal humans do favors, give referrals to others who can help them or introduce people who may have common interests in exchange for nothing, thanks, being kind, helping. Then there are the professional intermediaries, the getters, those who have a name and a social position to put on the market: the luxury brokers.

There you have your answer: for Luis Medina Abascal it is perfectly lawful to put a million dollars in his pocket for using his social introduction letter – I am the Marquis of Villalba, the brother of the Duke of Feria – to ask a gentleman who has on his agenda, and that he is the mayor’s cousin, and knowing who to deal with at City Hall. “There is no irregularity whatsoever (…) I have charged for my management”, he has declared. Because he is worth it and so is his agenda. One million dollars. Not only does he say so, but it is very likely that he does not have the slightest awareness of having committed not just a crime, but not even a dishonorable act, shamelessness. A million euros while people were dying by the thousands every day. The nobility, you know, oblige. Before, it seems, to be honorable above the norm and now to maintain the lifestyle that your blue blood forces you to when there is no more heritage and your balances bleed red.

From the king below… as many as he can. The Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office itself wrote in an official document sent to Switzerland that King Juan Carlos I was “an international commission agent.” How much is it worth that a crowned head puts you in contact with who you want? Behind the mantle of inviolability these behaviors have been covered but there is no moral doubt that the commissions forged the fortune that the Emeritus has abroad, what else? And next to him, his son-in-law Urdangarín, convicted of influence peddling, comes in droves, along with five other crimes, because how much was his social situation worth? how much was owed to him by the marriage of the daughter of a head of state? And the lover commission agent or lover commission agent –which came first?– who, in addition to other questions, wrote to Urdangarín to offer him the commissions for the business to sell the Oscars of sport to companies and administrations.

The commissioners of the Gürtel, of public contracts, benefiting part of those commissions to the Popular Party to go doped to the elections. Commissioner Correa, the professional of “intermediation”, that link between the Administration and businessmen “based on mutual trust” that turned out to be a perfectly greased plot from politics itself to enrich some and give power to others through money of taxpayers.

The brother of the president of the Community who, according to herself, told us, charged commissions for “intermediating” for the purchase of masks in a “perfectly legal” way, 283,000 euros that we still do not know for what he charged. He was not a salesperson for his friend’s livestock company, but he took money from a public contract that did not deliver the quality he promised, which is another way of inflating prices. With money from the European Union, which is now being tracked by the Prosecutor’s Office.

It is the note that strikes me the most, the fact that everyone seems convinced that it is permissible, normal, legal and even a favor, a kind of public service, to get paid for doing unnecessary work, that is, for putting in contact with companies with public administrations, when there is nothing simpler than coming with your offer without needing anyone except that in addition to the way of presentation there is an underlying certainty that you will get the contract, you and not others, taking advantage of who you are, “Taking advantage of his status as a well-known character in public life” as the Luis Medina Abascal Prosecutor’s Office says.

The intermediaries, the commission agents, the facilitators –with that term that sounds like corrupt Vaseline–, a fauna that fills the tables of the best restaurants in Madrid, and perhaps in other capitals, I don’t know if with such profusion. Formerly there were rentiers, but for decades there has been a whole caste of commissioners who live off the air, on relationships, on doing nothing or producing nothing other than sucking from the pot of our taxes. Probably many of them are enthusiastic politicians who want to put an end to “chiringuitos” and subsidies to social or cultural groups. They are competitors. The public money is there waiting for someone to ask them for a phone number, a contact, a presentation, to organize a meal, with a meganito or zutanita. The bisnesyour.

The commissions are legal, they repeat. Obviously there are commissions in private companies because you have to convince yourself that a supplier is the best, because you have to make the product or put the parties in contact or help increase sales strictly between individuals. In that case the commissions come out of the benefit of the companies. It is a different thing when public contracts or the influence of authorities are at stake. In that case, rest assured that the commissions, of an unthinkable volume among private companies, come out of our ribs. The Prosecutor’s Office says that the hustler Alberto Luceño made the masks more expensive by 426% and the rapid tests by 244% to ensure the indecent commissions of both. From the ribs of the people of Madrid. Of mine too.

They are a whole class, a caste. They are not entrepreneurs, they do not produce anything. They are suckers, parasites, unscrupulous mugs who believe they have the right to a certain kind of life at the expense of others. And they are many. Some are so stupid that they do not notice that there are some mechanisms that try to hunt them down. They did not seem to think that the banks have an obligation to document suspicious operations and bring them to the attention of Sepblac. If you receive such unusual deposits, in dollars and from Malaysia, they will ask you. That is when you come up with the ingenious solution of falsifying the documents to certify the origin of the money and as they sing that it pulls back, the bank washes its hands and makes a formal communication. The marquesito says that everything is up to the Prosecutor’s Office, “that they are all on the left and that is how they act”, you see, being scandalized by something as normal as putting a million in the basket for making a call while people die and the country is in shock.

This is the worm. What they will spend the money on is the least important thing. If they had hidden it under a brick, the moral arcade would have been the same. The thing about cars and wigs is very eye-catching for headlines, but shit doesn’t change whether you’re tacky or have the good taste to buy a sailboat like the one used by King Alfonso XIII to haggle.

The problem is not taxes. They don’t need to be taken down, just don’t hand them over to this rabble.