NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

Spanish Minister of Industry resigns over Panama leaks

The Spanish Minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria, presented this Friday his “irrevocable resignation” after his involvement in U.K. Lines, an offshore firm set up by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. “All political activity should be exemplary, including when it comes to providing explanations”, Soria said in an e-mailed statement this Friday. “When that is not the case, you have to take responsibility accordingly”, he added. Soria referred to the “succession of mistakes committed during the last days” in relation to his confusing explanations regarding his business activities before 1995, when he started his political career. Soria also gave uphis seat in the Spanish Parliament and quit the presidency of the currently governing People’s Party (PP) in the Canary Islands, his home region.

SHARE

15 April 2016 03:07 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria, presented this Friday his “irrevocable resignation” after his name was leaked through ‘Panama Papers’ linked to two companies based in the Bahamas and Jersey. “All political activity should be exemplary, including when it comes to providing explanations”, said Soria in his e-mailed resignation statement. “When that is not the case, you have to take responsibility accordingly”, he added. He also referred to the “succession of mistakes committed during the last days” in relation to his confusing explanations regarding his business activities before 1995, when he started his political career. Soria retires from politics, admitting that this scandal caused “evident damage” to the Spanish government and the governing People’s Party (PP). Soria is the fifth minister from current President Mariano Rajoy’s government to resign during this term of office.


Soria admitted the “evident damage” that this situation was causing to “the Spanish government, the People’s Party and its members, as well as to the voters”. He also stressed that the scandal was “especially grave in the current political moment”. 

Soria’s alleged involvement in two ‘offshore’ companies, one in the Bahamas and one in Jersey, came to public light this week. According to the ‘Panama Papers’, the Minister was involved in U.K. Lines, a British company which had its offshore society in the Bahamas set up by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. He first denied any involvement with the firm, although his father’s name appeared to be the same as the founder of the company, arguing his name appeared on the list by mistake. However, soon afterwards it ‘emerged’ that Soria’s father’s name appeared as founder of the company and the Minister himself as a member of the company’s board between 1991 and 1997.

However, his conflicting explanations were even less convincing when on Thursday the ‘El Mundo’ newspaper released a document from Mechanical Trading Limited, a company based in Jersey, containing Soria’s signature and signed after he had already become the mayor of Las Palmas, in Gran Canaria.

The fifth minister from Rajoy’s government to resign

Soria is the fifth minister from current Spanish President Mariano Rajoy’s government to resign. During this term of office, former Minister for Justice Alberto Ruíz Gallardón stepped down amid controversy over his failed reform of the Spanish abortion law. Later, the Spanish Minister for Health Ana Mato also resigned after being involved in the ‘Gürtel’ corruption scandal, as did Spanish Minister for Education, José Ignacio Wert, and Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Miguel Arias Cañete. 

SHARE

  • Spanish Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria (by ACN)

  • Spanish Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria (by ACN)