EX-JUNTA boss Manuel Chaves has claimed ignorance over Spain’s biggest public money scandal.
Appearing in court in Madrid over the ERE scandal, yesterday, he insisted: ‘If I had known what was going on, I would not have permitted it.’
The 70-year-old, who led Andalucia for 19 years and now has a seat in Madrid’s parliament, claimed to have no idea that his Employment Ministry was syphoning tens of millions fraudulently every year for a decade.
Jose Grinan, his successor, in 2009, also claimed to know nothing about the fraud.
However he admitted that there was a failure to bring in controls and said: ‘There was no grand plan but there was great fraud’.
The alleged fraud is estimated to amount to as much as €855 million between 2000 and 2010, when the probe was launched.
In a four hour hearing, Grinan described the proceedings as a ‘torment’ for him and his family.