DOZENS of Spanish politicians, bankers and financial advisers are under investigation after collectively spending €15.5 million on undeclared company credit cards handed out by Caja Madrid and Bankia between 2003 and 2012.
The 86 cardholders under investigation include 27 members of Spain’s ruling conservative Popular party, 15 Socialists, ten trade union leaders and five members of the United Left party.
The politicians were given the ‘black’ cards to pay for their expenses after being appointed to various posts at the banks but none of the spending was ever reported to tax authorities.
Over the past week, the scandal has forced the resignation of Madrid’s director-general of the economy ministry, the chief of staff in the Spanish budget ministry and a senior member of the Socialist party. Two senior trade union leaders have also resigned.
Other high-profile figures under investigation include Rafael Spottorno, the former head of Spain’s royal household, and the ex-presidents of Caja Madrid and Bankia Miguel Blesa and Rodrigo Rato.
Blesa – who was paid €3.5 million a year in his role – is reported to have spent a massive €436,000, including €10,000 on wine and €9,000 for a holiday to South Africa.