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“Corruption is suffocating Spain…and already turning over more lucre than drug dealing.” This Sunday, the Spanish daily ABC published a map of what the Spanish dub the “bricks racket” on account of its noxious nexus to real estate development and town planning in recent decades. “Over 300 people are going to be tried in 2010,” explains ABC, stressing that most of those implicated in the scams are mayors and political leaders. “Either we stop them from sucking the lifeblood from what remains of Spanish democracy’s prestige or we shall die as a democracy and seep down the gutter stinking of corruption,” writes ABC’s editor Ángel Expósito. In another editorial, the paper describes the “mix of murky interests combining unscrupulous politicians and crooks disguised as entrepreneurs”. So it is “absolutely vital to revise the legislation by bolstering watchdog mechanisms and, above all, ensuring due enforcement through independent bodies”. And that can only be achieved by forging a government pact between the two main political parties, the conservative PP and socialist PSOE.