The Popular Party (PP) had ex-treasurer Luis Bárcenas on its payroll up until December, despite assurances from senior party officials that the embattled former senator was only receiving a severance payment stretched out over two years, sources said.
According to the SER radio network, the PP never entered into any agreement with Bárcenas concerning his severance pay, which party officials said it did in 2010 and paid out more than 400,000 euros. That year Bárcenas formally resigned as treasurer and then stepped down as senator representing Cantabria.
But various experts have said that the party would be committing fraud if it were indeed paying his social security unless he was on contract. Citing sources, the Colpisa news agency said Friday that the PP also retained taxes on Bárcenas payments.
Bárcenas continued to keep an office at PP headquarters in Madrid even after the party had publicly stated that he was officially sidelined from the organization due to his implication in the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts scandal.
PP officials have not issued any statements on this latest allegation about its former treasurer.
Antonio Hernando, Socialist spokesman for regional affairs, said he believes that Bárcenas has “explosive information that could blow away the party’s leadership” if the allegations that he was still on the payroll are true.
“Once again the PP was caught in a blatant lie aimed at avoiding its responsibility in this corruption case,” he said.
On Wednesday, the party issued a statement explaining that it entered an agreement with Bárcenas in 2010 to pay his severance pay, at his request, in monthly installments, as well as his social security. The statement was issued after EL PAÍS had revealed the payments to Bárcenas.