Former PP Madrid number two to step down from Senate after Swiss bank disclosure

Having a secret account is a crime for a politician, says ex-regional premier Esperanza Aguirre

A file photograph of Senator Francisco Granados.
A file photograph of Senator Francisco Granados.Juan M. Espinosa / EFE

Beleaguered by revelations he had some 1.5 million euros stashed away in a Swiss bank account for four years, Francisco Granados, the former deputy premier in the Madrid region, will step down from his senate seat as well as resigning from the regional assembly, sources told EL PAÍS on Thursday.

Granados is expected to present his resignation at the Senate on Thursday while he has announced to the Madrid Popular Party (PP) group that he will step down from the local assembly.

“It is a coherent and responsible decision, which is valued at a time when politicians hide behind their parliamentary immunity,” said the PP’s regional assembly spokesman, Iñigo Henríquez de Luna.

In the Madrid assembly, Granados will be replaced by former Cadalso de los Vidrios Mayor Teresa de Jesús Luis Rico.

The former number two under ex-premier Esperanza Aguirre will not attend Thursday’s assembly session.

The move comes after Granados admitted that he held a bank account in Switzerland between 1996 and 2000, which at one point held some 1.5 million euros. The disclosure came after Swiss authorities informed the Justice Ministry about the existence of the account.

In a statement released by the PP on Wednesday, Granados affirmed that he had declared all his income and assets to tax authorities and that his financial statement is available on the Senate website.

“I think it is fantastic that he is resigning,” said former regional premier Aguirre in an interview she gave on COPE radio. “Having a Swiss bank account is not a crime but it is for a politician.”