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back to article Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

A councillor in the Spanish town of Villarrobledo has probably had his chances of picking up the municipality's "Citizen of the Year" trophy blown after allegations surfaced that he had told a young jobseeking mum to hit the streets in search of cash. This report alleges that 21-year-old Ángeles María Herreros rolled up at …

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Anonymous Coward

He'll go far...

I'll wager that HR at Atos are trying to recruit him already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He'll go far...

Seems a perfectly reasonable suggestion to me, given the circumstances.

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Re: He'll go far...

"I'll wager that HR at Atos are trying to recruit him already."

I doubt it, last I heard Atos are trying to get out of their contract.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He'll go far...

I hope he offered her some training too...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He'll go far...

Maybe he should start a "company" that offers said training and in return, they take a cut of the earnings.

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Megaphone

Spain

Nice country, shame about the political class.

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Childcatcher

Re: Spain

Same could be said of my country...and probably yours, though mine is probably ahead of yours in variety.

// Canada's a strong third place, with Rob Ford...

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Re: Rob Ford

I think it says something about the quality of Canada's "political class" that even our most coked out joke of a politician can balance a budget. The US deficit is what again? For all his antics and addiction, I'd take Ford over 95% of the other politicians I've ever read about in other nations any day.

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Tech?

I'd expect to see this kind of thing in the Mail.

Did she try to apply online?

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Holmes

Bootnotes old chap, do try to keep up.

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Doesn't suprise in the slightest....

...going by by my sisters experience of living there. If you're female & married, forget trying to get anything official done, that's the man's job, you have no rights without him signing the forms for you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doesn't suprise in the slightest....

What complete and utter nonsense. I have never seen any form, official or otherwise, that needs an husbands signature. In our household if any thing official needs doing it is my wife who does it, no permssion from me required at all.

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Joke

Re: Doesn't suprise in the slightest....

" If you're female & married, forget trying to get anything official done, that's the man's job"

an advanced civilisation then, spain….. ????? :-)

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It's a situation of one party's word against another's. One says one thing, the other says the opposite. In these kind of private meetings, a recording should be taken for fact verification purposes.

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@Anonymous Coward 101

Screen Shot or "It didnt happen"?

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Coat

You pleb!

And that sound you can hear is me back-pedalling rapidly.

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Three people's word against one. And the emergency services was called.

That's possibly enough to get a conviction.

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Anonymous Coward

That's possibly enough to get a conviction.

A conviction for what? Saying something to someone that they didn't like?

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Anonymous Coward

"Three people's word against one. And the emergency services was called.

That's possibly enough to get a conviction."

Nope...It's one parties word against another still, and what would they convict him of? Allegedly saying nasty things to a woman that no one else heard? Yea not exactly a well know law that one, but I'm no Spanish legal expert.

Plus the two women could have easily avoided that situation that caused them to have a "panic attack" by not going back there to kick up a fuss and cause trouble (that's all that is going to happen when you go back with your motther and husband to confront someone! rather than the authorities like any reasonable and sensible person)

If they had made a complaint but not tried to take the law into their own hands then fair enough, but they did and they brought it on themselves (not the initial comment, but considering their actions after the comment I wouldn't be surprised if it was a flippant comment from a man who had no answers and had lost his patience with a clearly aggravated woman)

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"That's possibly enough to get a conviction."

Yeah but in Spain, all that happens is that they grant a pardon to the person convicted. There is a tug of war between the judges on one hand saying that new laws are unworkable or unconstitutional, or convicting people of crimes, and the politicos on the other hand passing "illegal" laws, or pardoning their amigos so they don't suffer.

Given that this guy is in the PP club, chances are that nothing will happen. He might even get voted in again at the next election, because he may still be see as less bad than the other guy!

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Anonymous Coward

... what would they convict him of?

Denying a citizen access to social services because she refused employment prospects in prostitution. Abuse of authority.

The alleged comments weren't just a generally offensive suggestion from one person to another, they were (allegedly) delivered as official advice from an appropriately appointed government representative.

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Well if prostitution is illegal in Spain like it seems to be in most places (or at least plying it in the street), then there may be a case to be made about an official of the government suggesting that she commit a crime. It many places that borders on an offense in itself particularly if there is coercion involved.

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"Going back with support and witnesses" to confront someone who's insulted her is not /exactly/ my idea of "taking the law into one's own hands". It's not going to make a particularly gripping revenge thriller.

And the problem with "should've recorded it" is - how many conversations did you have last week? And of those, how many of them did you record? Typically, by the time you realise the way things are going, it's too late to start recording - the incriminating stuff has already been said, and good luck pulling out a cellphone (or whatever) then and getting the other party to repeat it.

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"Nope...It's one parties word against another still"

So? Get caught speeding by a copper or find yourself a witness to murder and it's effectively one person's word against another as well. And you know what: People get cinvicted.

"and what would they convict him of?"

Incitement?

At the very least it's grounds for getting the shithead fired.

"Plus the two women could have easily avoided that situation that caused them to have a "panic attack" by not going back there to kick up a fuss and cause trouble (that's all that is going to happen when you go back with your motther and husband to confront someone! rather than the authorities like any reasonable and sensible person)"

That sounds suspiciously like the old "The rape victim shouldn't have walked down the dangerous street, it's their fault" line of total fucking bullshit.

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Anonymous Coward

Or just come over to the UK, like so many are doing from Spain and Greece right now.

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Coffee/keyboard

Or come over to Australia, as many British were doing.

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Or come too London and work in bars, as many Aussies did when the going was good.

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Anonymous Coward

@OP

I was going to suggest that if you weren't so lazy with respect to learning a second language you could come to Spain to work but on reflection I think it's better you stay where you are.

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Anonymous Coward

"Or come over to Australia, as many British were doing"

They didn't have much choice... or are you talking about something more recent than the good old penal colony days?

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Nice Guy?

Unfortunately here as soon as someone gets a job in government however menial they act as if they are above everyone else.

There are many 'Clubs de Noche' (Knocking Shop) here which this guy may well be a customer of, it's probably the only way he would consider 'financial aid' to a woman.

Spain is struggling to improve women's rights, many men believe that a woman's right to work is secondary to a man's, this is reflected by the fact that woman's wages are still significantly lower in general than male wages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice Guy?

>'Clubs de Noche' (Knocking Shop)

Great, I get to say puticlub

Google puticlub and about half way down the first page there's a link to "'Guía de Puticlubs y Putas de España", the icons obliterate Spain.

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Coat

She should change her name...

to Bob.

Mine's the one with the cunning plan in the pocket.

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Joke

Sir

Sack him, give her the job. Tell him to go on the game. Sorted. Next!

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They clearly missed a trick, when they went back they should have secretly recorded the conversation, then he would be saying goodbye to his job.

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This is Spain we're talking about. It would take more than that to get a politician or public official sacked. Corruption is endemic in Spain.

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If that were really the case then most of the government would have already resigned over scandles like Bárcenas. Instead Rajoy went on national TV and said, "All the accusations are false, except for some of them" and then it sort of fizzled out.

As an aside, I think Lester has been unwarrently generous with respect to translating the phrase "meterse a puta" as "go on the game".

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"Yesterday, the PP issued a statement describing Herreros's claims as "completely false". It insisted that if she and her relatives didn't withdraw the accusations - now presented formally to the Guardia Civil - it would take "appropriate legal action"."

This is why the rest of the world tends to think of Spain as no better than some banana republic dictatorship.

In the civilized world the councillor would probably have been suspended by both the party and the local council while the claims were investigated. Especially since similar claims have been made about the same councillor in the past.

In Spain, however, the council seems to turn a blind eye and the party launches into full on bully mode.

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Anonymous Coward

In the civilized world the councillor would probably have been suspended by both the party and the local council while the claims were investigated.

Yes it's lovely how they immediately cast accused people as guilty, until they prove otherwise, by suspending them for merely being accused. It makes that persons trial by media so much more effective.

Especially since similar claims have been made about the same councillor in the past.

Really? He's been accused of telling women to go on the game before, has he?

In Spain, however, the council seems to turn a blind eye and the party launches into full on bully mode.

Yet from where I'm sitting all I can see if them refuting the claims, and demanding the accusations are withdrawn... much the same actions as we see taken by any number of people who feel they have been unfairly libeled in any number of the countries of the 'civilised world'.

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@obgit

>> In the civilized world the councillor would probably have been suspended by both the party and the local council while the claims were investigated.

> Yes it's lovely how they immediately cast accused people as guilty, until they prove otherwise, by suspending them for merely being accused. It makes that persons trial by media so much more effective.

Whilst the PP's "civilized world" slur is ironically uncivilised, suspension during an investigation is shirley about protecting the interests of both parties whilst facts are determined

>> Especially since similar claims have been made about the same councillor in the past.

> Really? He's been accused of telling women to go on the game before, has he?

I think the PP was probably referring to the linked article which makes the claims stated that he has made similarly demeaning remarks to jobseekers

>> In Spain, however, the council seems to turn a blind eye and the party launches into full on bully mode.

> Yet from where I'm sitting all I can see if them refuting the claims, and demanding the accusations are withdrawn... much the same actions as we see taken by any number of people who feel they have been unfairly libeled in any number of the countries of the 'civilised world'.

Notwithstanding the PP's hasty generalisation from "this official in that party" to "Spain" refuting <> denying and since the an official complaint has been apparently made to the Guardia Civil threatening to turn to law unless the complaint is withdrawn does seem a little previous.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @obgit

Whilst the PP's "civilized world" slur is ironically uncivilised, suspension during an investigation is shirley about protecting the interests of both parties whilst facts are determined

Whilst that might be the intention of the suspending authority, all it ever does in the eyes of the media and those who read the media is make the suspended person look culpable.

I think the PP was probably referring to the linked article which makes the claims stated that he has made similarly demeaning remarks to jobseekers

How hard do you think it would be to amass a few complaints of that nature in a country where the unemployment rate is 25% (that's a quarter of the population). Each of whom must presumably be seeking employment. How many agitated desperate job seekers do you think this man encounters weekly? How many of them do you think like what he says to them, when he says he can't help them?

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"Yet from where I'm sitting all I can see if them refuting the claims"

They have a recording? Or do you mean denying the claims.

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THEY have bananas.

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@obgit you certainly chose the right name didn't you. For a start you are arguing from a very narrow point of view which is the sort of thing I'd usually expect from Fail readers rather than Reg readers.

The point here is that a complaint has been made to the authorities. Clearly PPs statement is nothing short of bullying and would probably be considered illegal in many countries. Imagine for a moment that you made a complaint to the police against one of your neighbours. Now imagine that neighbour knocked on your door and told you to withdraw the complaint or he would "take action". Would you consider that your neighbour's action was reasonable or legal? In most legal systens it would be called something like "witness intimiidation" and treated accordingly.

As for your assertion that it would be easy to pull together a lot of allegations, from your viewpoint it is enough that collusion is possible to dismiss complaints? You want us to not only presume the innocence of the concillor in question, but to exonerate him without investifation, yet on the other hand you want us to assume the guilt of the complainants? Interesting line in hypocrisy you have there.

"The eyes of the media" are irrelevant. It is standard practice in most countries to suspend on full pay any employee or indeed politician charged with an offence that could lead to dismissal. Because it's standard practice the media are well aware of it and I'm sure they would be told in no uncertain terms that the dismissal would not in any way imply guilt. Of course if the media said it did the councillor could sue.

However the thing that really points to your gitishness it's your deliberate misunderstanding of my post:

"Really? He's been accused of telling women to go on the game before, has he?"

Did I say identical claims? No I said similar. Had you read the article properly you would have noticed that it says "The paper claims López has a bit of previous form when it comes to giving short shrift to jobseekers. "Go and get a job abroad" and "don't come back I'm sick of the sight of you" are allegedly among his finest moments." Similar claims.

If the claims are true the chap should not be in public office, certainly not one involves giving careers advice. As such the claims should be thoroughly investigated. While it is one thing to refute the claims it is quite another to threaten somebody who has made a legitimate complaint to the authorities.

Remember complaints to the authorities are not the same as public allegations of wrongdoing. Had the young lady simply made this allegation publicly PP could have taken legal action against her for slander. Because she has made a complaint to the authorities they can't. So what are these mysterious actions they are threatening to take?

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Anonymous Coward

"claims should be thoroughly investigated"

Yes, the claims probably should be investigated by the political party to which the politician belongs, if he belongs to a party, but it really doesn't seem like a police matter. It would be a very bad thing for democracy if the "authorities" could remove an elected representative from office just because somebody claims that they were rude, or even if there were incontrovertible proof that they had been rude to a member of the public.

(In some countries they take this principle to extremes and make MPs, or ministers, or the president, immune to criminal prosecution. I wouldn't go that far myself.)

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Anonymous Coward

You want us to not only presume the innocence of the concillor in question

I don't want you to presume anything, the entire legal systems of all civilised countries requires you to presume he is innocent, unless and until he is proven guilty.

You of course seem to know he is guilty because he has been accused... otherwise why would you make such an accusation against someone who is assuming he is innocent, because he hasn't been proven to be guilty.

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Unfortunately, in cities around the world, going 'on the game' ...

is a fact of life for many single-parent mothers when either the food budget hits zero or the rent is due.

I have seen this in Canada, China, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, the UK, USA and VietNam. Pity they don't sling the absent fathers in jail. As well as the Camerons of this world who think slashing welfare budgets is a smart thing to do.

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Re: Unfortunately, in cities around the world, going 'on the game' ...

But she's got a husband. What's he doing?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Unfortunately, in cities around the world, going 'on the game' ...

Yes, she divorced the dad, threw him out of his house, got his kids, and spent his money, but lets continue blaming him.

Besides, would slinging him in jail magically pay the bills somehow?

It is because of welfare budgets that most women go this route. Slash the budgets and they might learn to stick by their man.

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Re: Unfortunately, in cities around the world, going 'on the game' ...

Believe me the welfare budgets in Spain are nothing to write home about.

Unless you are complaining about how small they are. Spain is not big on splashing welfare money around, even Paro (the dole) is based on how much you have paid in over preceding years.

It is not possible for mothers with 3 or 4 children with different fathers to be housed and fed in Spain as they are in the UK.

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