Spanish Energy Minister quits over Panama Papers

Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria has resigned amid the Panama Papers scandal. It revealed 11.5 million files that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Spain’s Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria has resigned amid the Panama Papers scandal.

It revealed 11.5 million files that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca.

Earlier this week, the Spanish media claimed Mr Soria was an administrator of an offshore firm for two months in 1992 before he entered politics.

He insisted the documents published were false, denied any link with any Panamanian firm and added he never administrated any offshore business.

Although it isn’t clear if any of the allegations mentioned on the Panama Papers are illegal, the minister resigned as an MP and as the chairman of the regional Popular Party in the Canary Islands.

Mr Soria said in a statement: “In the light of the chain of errors committed over the last few days, in relation to my explanations of my business activities before my entry into politics in 1995, due to the lack of precise information about events that happened more than 20 years ago; notwithstanding that none of those business activities were linked in any way to the exercise of those political responsibilities; considering the evident damage this situation is causing to the Government of Spain, the Popular Party, my fellow party members and voters, singularly grave in the current political circumstances, I communicate that, after a conversation with the President, I have told him of my irrevocable decision to present my express resignation from my functions as Minister of Industry, Energy & Tourism.

“Politics is an activity that must at all times be exemplary both in its pedagogy and its explanations. When that does not happen, the corresponding responsibilities must be accepted.”