Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Spain's Mariano Rajoy 'implicated after publication of slush fund documents'

Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy is under increasing pressure after the publication of original documents purporting to show illegal cash payments were paid to him while he was a minister.

Excerpts from an accounts ledger of a secret slush fund were published by Spain's El Mundo newspaper, apparently implicating Mr Rajoy and other senior members of the ruling Popular Party.
The documents have reignited a scandal that outraged Spaniards suffering its fifth year of economic crisis and led to street protests earlier this year calling for the prime minister to resign.
El Mundo said the documents showed that Mr Rajoy received secret cash payments during 1997, 1998 and 1999 when he was a minister in Jose Maria Aznar's government.
They purportedly show that in 1998 Mr Rajoy received two payments of 2.1 million pesetas (£11,000) that were undeclared and untaxed and that flouted a 1995 law barring supplementary payments to members of the government.
The ledgers were allegedly handwritten by disgraced ex-party treasurer Luis Barcenas, who is currently behind bars facing several corruption charges.
He was found to have some 48 million euros stashed in Swiss bank accounts and is accused of operating a slush fund to channel millions of euros in cash from businessmen to party leaders in return for kickbacks.
Mr Barcenas, who previously denied the authenticity of the ledgers when photocopies were first published in Spain's left-leaning El Pais newspaper in January, admitted this weekend in an interview with El Mundo published on Sunday that the documents were genuine.
He said he had lied "as an act of loyalty" to Mr Rajoy and the party but now felt no compulsion to protect them.
Mr Barcenas, who was Popular Party treasurer for almost three decades said in the interview with El Mundo editor Pedro J Ramirez, that the party had been funded illegally through kickbacks for at least 20 years.
Hours after the interview was published, the legal team defending Mr Barcenas resigned citing "professional disagreements".
The original ledgers have now been passed to the High Court Judge investigating the former treasurer.
Mr Rajoy has previously denied receiving undisclosed payments. On Tuesday the government issued another denial over the authenticity of the ledgers. "The Popular Party reiterates that it does not know of the notes or their content, and it does not in any way recognise them as the accounts of this political organisation," a statement said.
All payments to party officials were properly declared, the party added.
"The PP denies making payments to people other than those included in their monthly salaries with the corresponding deductions for tax and social security," it said.
The opposition Socialist Party demanded an official explanation from the government over the latest allegations.
Its deputy leader, Elena Valenciano, said: "This is very serious evidence, which supports what we have been saying for a long time: that Mariano Rajoy must sit down and tell the truth to the Spanish people."
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The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.


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