Spain’s iron lady quits office after Popular Party office raids

POPULAR PARTY member Esperanza Aguirre has resigned following raids on PP´s Madrid offices and those of construction company OHL, on February 11. 

The former minister and senior PP member confirmed her resignation on February 14 as further allegations of illegal party financing came to light. 

The alleged irregular funding was detailed in documents by disgraced former PP deputy Francisco Granados, who was jailed in 2014 after Madrid´s High Court found him guilty of a host of financial misdemeanours. Ms Aguirre is said to have been instrumental in Granados’ nomination to his former post, under then-premier Jose Maria Aznar.

Although she has so far avoided charges being brought against her, reports confirm Ms Aguirre was questioned on February 12, as part of an on-going inquiry by a commission set up by the regional assembly in October 2015 to probe embezzlement allegations within the Madrid chapter of the Popular Party. 

As part of the same inquiry, other PP members will now be hauled over the coals as investigators delve into the matter of how the computer hard drives of now-jailed party treasurer Luis Barcenas were wiped before they could gain access to them. 

In May 2015, the countess, and devout admirer of Margaret Thatcher, battled communist Manuela Carmena for the job of mayor of Madrid, losing out to Ms Carmena, who claimed her decision to run was motivated by her desire to challenge a politician who “has done so much harm to democracy and who is entangled in corruption scandals”.  

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