Spain’s never-ending corruption problem

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A growing number of Spanish politicians and business leaders are ending their careers in an unexpected place: behind bars.

Almost 1,500 people in Spain faced trial for corruption between July 2015 and the end of 2016, according to official figures. Around 70 percent of them were found guilty.

Since the country’s transition to democracy in the late 1970s, those sitting on the defendant’s bench have included top business people, ministers, regional presidents, mayors and even Princess Cristina, the king’s sister. In the past few months alone, the entrepreneur Iñaki Urdangarín (Cristina’s husband and King Felipe VI’s brother-in-law) and former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato were among those sentenced to prison.

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