MAGDALENA Alvarez, the vice-president of the European Investment Bank, has resigned due to involvement in the ERE slush fund scandal.

Alvarez, a former public works minister, is protesting her innocence of suspected fraud and embezzlement.

The 62-year-old was last year named as a suspect during the judicial probe into the fraudulent use of public funds to pay bogus severance pay to hundreds of companies that never existed.

Alvarez insisted: “The judge clearly says I had nothing to do with the abuse of public money.”

“I have absolutely no doubt that my innocence will be clarified at some level in our judicial system.”

She insisted she is not resigning because she is a suspect, but because Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government preferred to replace her.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said he felt ‘deep respect’ for Alvarez.

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

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

Imogen Calderwood

About Imogen Calderwood

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