18 Mar, 2014 @ 11:18
1 min read

Alvarez refuses to resign from European Investment Bank over ERE slush fund scandal

magdalena e

MAGDALENA Alvarez, an ex-socialist minister and a ‘prime mover’ in the ERE fraud scandal, has refused to resign from her position as vice-president of the European Investment Bank, amid accusations of fraud and embezzlement.

Her announcement comes just days after Judge Mercedes Alaya, the investigating judge in the ERE case, slapped a €29.5 million civil liability bond on Alvarez for her alleged involvement in the fraud.

Ms Alvarez, who went on to become public works minister under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, declared her intention to appeal the judge’s decision, calling the bond ‘disproportionate’ and ‘out of place’.

“I will have enough energy to show everybody what an injustice is being committed against me,” she announced.

The slush fund scandal – the biggest public money scam in Spanish history – saw a regional development fund used to disguise bogus early retirement payouts to individuals who had no right to the money.

The prosecution estimates that €140 million of public money were syphoned off between 2001 and 2010 from the fund, set up by the Andalucian government while Ms Alvarez was at its head.

It is alleged that Ms Alvarez was in charge of overseeing the aid fund, while 19 other current and former officials of the Andalucian Junta are also being investigated for fraud and corruption charges.

Judge Alaya feels that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Ms Alvarez, the Junta’s finance minister between 1994 and 2004 – including three of the 10 years the court case is focussing on – will be charged for her involvement.

The judge added that the fund’s payouts were ‘in flagrant violation of the established procedure’, and were designed ‘to avoid rigid legal requirements’.

Manuel Chavez, a former president of the Junta, criticised the judge for ‘destroying the honour of innocent people’.

Ms Alvarez insists that she will continue working to defend her innocence.

Imogen Calderwood

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  1. The EIB is a pretty dodgy and secretive organisation. I bet she loves working there – with all that cash sloshing about and opportunities to syphon it off…

  2. To be honest I’m surprised the OP has invited comments on this report for fear of over-stretching the moderators….Anyone who takes an interest in Spanish current affairs, irrespective of their nationality, can only feel utter dismay at case after case of corruption at all levels being uncovered week after week.

    At a time when so many people are out of work, so many people being made homeless, so many people can’t reach the end of every month and here we have the very people who are ‘elected’ to uphold irreproachable governance screwing the taxpayer, business et al for every cent they can get their grubby little mitts on.

    And no-one can doubt, that which is uncovered is only the surface rust. The cancerous roots go very deep indeed to a point where one is left wondering if it’s terminal.

  3. The level of corruption can be deduced from the O.P.’s own article recently, with figures suggesting that the top 20% of the population have 7.5 times the wealth of the lowest 20%.
    This top 20% must include all politicians, judges, bankers, company directors, trade union executives, police chiefs, not to mention criminals, etc. Somehow the Spanish system has allowed the lot of them to extract this level of income, no questions asked. It cannot change because there can’t be any motivation for a change within this top 20% which might affect their own scandalous earnings.
    So the top 20% sit and absorb huge wealth from the middle 60%, leaving them disgruntled at the high tax rates, etc., and the crumbs are left over for the bottom 20%.
    It’s insufferable that food banks are necessary to help people with little or no income while this vast number of rich people swan around in their luxury cars and yachts.
    To me the stage seems set for a revolution of sorts – except that nowadays modern weapons would put it down before it gets anywhere, the top 20% would make sure of that.
    What Spain needs is a European Commission set up to investigate Spain, top to bottom, make recommendations and if these are not carried out, withhold all aid and grants. But if such as Alvarez are in charge of the E.I.B., I cannot see a solution.

  4. Antonio2,
    the whole European political/business class is corrupt, do not expect Brussels to intervene, that will never happen.

    If you wish for a revolution, make sure it’s not hijacked by the Red shirted fascists, we all know what happened in Russia and China – and fools refer to these countries as Communist LOL.

  5. “Where there’s money there’s muck” as the saying goes and no doubt this applies right across the world, with every possible shade of black to grey, even including religious institutions.
    At east in Europe we “get the politicians we deserve” because we have the power of the vote.
    S.C. I take it from your comments that your ideal communism is that led by King Kong in N. Korea?
    The only true “commune-ism” I’ve ever heard about was that practised by the Twelve Apostles, whereby everything was shared, but out of love, not from fear.

  6. antonio2
    you are one of those fools I referred to in my previous post. Religious and political freaks are the root cause of most of this planet’s problems.

    Your religious ‘truth’ was cobbled together by a bunch of Romans some 200 years after your sky pixie was supposed to have died – funny that the Romans who were meticulous record keepers just like the Nazis never mentioned this sky pixie anywhere in their records.

    The Catholic church has indoctrinated you just like the Black Shirts and Red Shirts do with their children – you did’nt choose your religious beliefs did you, you were brainwashed from the cradle.

    The Catholic Church and come to that the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches are about as far removed from the supposed teachings of your sky pixie as it is possible to get. Take a look at the Vatican the most revolting display of wealth and greed. This nasty organisation has always ruthlessy opposed any attempt by ordinary people to throw of the yoke of despotism – Franco and the Catholic church – ring any bells.

  7. Sorry S.C. I’ve only just read your illustrious post.
    I have to say your reactions are either hyper-secularist or hyper-communist, don’t know which, maybe they converge, but either inhibition approaching this life is doomed to failure.
    FYI the earliest fragment of the Gospels date to within 100 years of Christs death. Pop into the BM one day. I’m also sorry that what you term a ‘sky pixie’ resulted in the Roman Christians being thrown to lions and in the end, Christians dug catacombs to hide from torture and death. They’re still there, complete with ancient depictions of Christ well before the Roman empire converted to Christianity. It’s history my friend and even you cannot change that!
    Yes I agree, Religion is hi-jacked by all sorts for their own purposes, Muslim fanatics a good example also such as Bloody Mary, who murdered many for ‘religious reasons’. Even ancient Pope’s thought they controlled the world and used their power unforgivably and more in keeping with Stalin!
    But that’s humanity, always has been. But the message in the Gospels is to spread love, above all things. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important.
    I’m a very poor Christian who has deliberately sacrificed others happiness for my own. I am not proud of this and understand my failings but there is no going back, just a humble plod through the rest of my sinners life.

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