By Imogen Calderwood
THE Mayor of Marbella is facing possible resignation calls over an alleged failure to declare a €3.1million investment abroad.
The town’s socialist party is demanding an ‘immediate explanation’ about the 2010 investment her company made in a Luxembourg bank.
According to Spanish website eldiario.es, Maria Angeles Munoz and her Swedish husband, Lars Broberg, took out an equity release mortgage worth €3.1million with Nordea bank in 2010.
The couple allegedly used a luxury property in Benahavis, purchased in 2001 and valued at €4.7million, as collateral for the deal.
Now concerns have been raised by a group of equity release victims, many expats, who have lost millions of euros through the bank.
The group Equity Release Victims Association (ERVA) claims money given to her and Broberg’s company, Crasel Panoramica, was kept in Luxembourg where it was invested in a life insurance policy.
It is alleged that Munoz never declared this among her statement of assets when taking up office in 2011, as she was supposed to do.
Spokesman for the PSOE Jose Bernal has now demanded immediate clarification over the investment, questioning whether she could afford it.
“If she cannot she should resign,” he said in a dramatic press conference this afternoon.
“We are talking about the falsifying of a public document, of deliberately hiding information relevant to her tax status,” he said.
“We hope to get an answer from her as soon as possible.”
It is suspected the couple invested in the bank’s flagship ‘international wealth and tax planning’ product, the Capital Managed Plan (CPM).
It is an investment the Spanish Tax Office has warned against using to reduce Wealth Tax and more significantly, Inheritance Tax.
It is unknown however, whether the Mayor knew about this ruling or whether she was herself a victim of ‘deceitful’ publicity of the bank.
ERVA, a body which represents expat victims over misleading advertising practices of banks, discovered the link between the Mayor’s company and Nordea bank earlier this year.
A spokesman for Munoz insisted the claims were completely unfounded.
The spokesman for Marbella Town Hall, Felix Romero, insisted: “All the affairs of the Mayor are perfectly declared with the tax authorities.
“The Mayor has never hidden her family assets nor has her husband. She insists that it’s totally false, and that there’s been no irregularity, neither in her assets or her tax declarations.”
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