The exact details of the relationship between the Galician regional premier, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, and convicted smuggler Marcial Dorado may never come to light. Since it was revealed that the pair were friends in the 1990s, and that they had even spent vacations together, Feijóo has been slowly releasing the information demanded by the opposition regarding the subsidies and public contracts that Dorado’s companies were awarded by the regional administration.
But this week, Feijóo told the Galician parliament that he could not guarantee that he would be able to supply all of the information that is being demanded, given that all documents and files relating to contracts prior to 2003 — i.e., during the period that the pair were friends — have been destroyed.
According to Feijóo, of the conservative Popular Party (PP), the law only obliges the administration to keep these files for a 10-year period. “There is nothing prior to 2003,” he admitted on Wednesday.
The story of Feijóo’s relationship with Dorado broke in late March of this year, when photos were published in EL PAÍS of the pair vacationing together. At the time, Feijóo was 34 years old and was deputy secretary of the Galicia regional health department. The Galician premier admitted to having had a “personal relationship” with Dorado, who is a convicted drug trafficker and is currently serving a prison sentence. However, the politician argued that the photos were from 20 years ago and that he broke off contact once Dorado’s illegal activities became known.
In April, the crisis deepened after it emerged that business links existed between the regional government and firms owned by Dorado. Despite fervent calls from opposition parties in the Galician assembly, Feijóo continues to insist that he has done nothing wrong and that he will not be resigning.
Wednesday’s tense parliamentary session was dominated by questions relating to Dorado’s relationship with the regional premier. Feijóo was quizzed by the opposition about his friend Manuel Cruz, who was also Dorado’s front man and who died in 1999 in a traffic accident that was described as “strange” by the local press. The AGE party asked Feijóo what exactly he thought that Cruz did for a living, and also accused him of calling the regional health department to put a stop to an autopsy on the body. In response, Feijóo limited himself to accusing the AGE of trying to “stain” the parliament with its “political filibustering.”
On Thursday, Feijóo announced that he was considering taking legal action against the opposition parties — in particular the leftist AGE — given the virulence of its attacks on him. Speaking to the press, Feijóo said that the parties were “crossing all lines, and it’s getting worse each day.”
At the end of April, the AGE leader, Xosé Manuel Beiras, approached Feijóo’s seat in parliament and angrily banged on the desk in front of him, while shouting in Feijóo’s face that he was “unworthy of being premier.”