Friday, October 4, 2013

Spanish Government Complaint Box Causes Boomerang Effect

Cartoon by J.R Mora. Used with permission.
"The Spanish Minister of Employment and Social Security,Fátima Bañez, has launched a “complaint box” to combat workplace fraud.
The government is encouraging citizens to anonymously report cases of fraud committed by companies and individual workers for further investigation by the Office of Labor Inspection.

The “box” is a publicly accessible online form on the Ministry's website.

The move has sparked controversy in the blogosphere and on social networks, and created a boomerang effect against the Spanish government: the first complaints received through the new system were directed at the government itself and members of the political sphere, not at ordinary citizens as intended. 
Once again, the people have demonstrated their wit and humor while responding to government action.

The main criticism of the complaint box is that with it the government aims to make citizens into “snitches,” [or informers] creating an accusatory climate that is more like an authoritarian system than a democracy.
Critics also say that its real goal is to persecute the most vulnerable people in society instead of going after the country's wealthiest citizens tax evasion or alleviating unemployment.

The contradiction has not gone unnoticed: that those claiming to combat fraud are part of a government overwhelmed by massive corruption scandals and suspected of illegal financing of its party, the ruling People's Party (PP)."

Read more from Elena Arrontes' article on Global Voices here.

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