Deal struck to oust conservative mayor after Pandora Paper revelations
Badalona’s Xavier Garcia Albiol will be replaced by Socialist Rubén Guijarro after a motion of no confidence
The Pandora Papers have had their first major impact in Catalonia.
Badalona mayor Xavier Garcia Albiol of the conservative People’s Party will be replaced by the Socialist candidate Rubén Guijarro after a no confidence motion has been agreed among opposition parties. The formal vote among councillors is expected to take place on November 8.
The leaked documents, which show the offshore deals and financial arrangements of current and former world leaders, unveiled links between the Badalona mayor and a company based in Belize, a tax haven in Central America, which also operated from Andorra.
Newspaper El País first published the story as part of the global journalistic publication of the 11.9 million documents, consisting of 2.9 terabytes of data.
Albiol admitted to the revelations but argued that he “did not benefit” from the financial arrangement of the company in Belize. "I did not get any income, no increase in wealth or remuneration of any kind,” he added, before saying he is a “serious and honest person.”
The incoming Socialist mayor has described the revelation as a “major scandal” and said that Albiol’s explanations “would make you laugh.”
The no confidence deal was struck less than 24 hours after initial talks among the five opposition parties began. On Thursday, the councillors from the Socialist Party, Guanyem, ERC, Badalona En Comú, and Junts will formalize the process to replace Albiol, with the final vote likely taking place on November 8.
This is the second time since the last municipal election that the mayorship will change hands, after Albiol came into power in May 2020 following the arrest of Socialist Àlex Pastor for driving drunk and skipping lockdown.
Guijarro is also on course to be the fourth Badalona mayor since 2018. Then-major Dolors Sabater was ousted in another no confidence motion, which saw Àlex Pastor take over the post.