Spanish consul in London resigns after hosting investigated ex-Caja Madrid boss

Miguel Blesa, a suspect in the preferred shares scandal, was a guest at diplomat’s official residence

A protestor carries a sign reading: “Blesa, you mobster, rot in jail you thief.”
A protestor carries a sign reading: “Blesa, you mobster, rot in jail you thief.”EFE

The Spanish consul in London has resigned after the media reported that former Caja Madrid chairman Miguel Blesa stayed at his official residence during a five-day visit to the city.

Blesa is being investigated by a court over his role in the controversial sale of preferred shares in the savings bank he presided; many investors who bought into this financial product ended up losing their life savings.

The media flurry over his five-day stay in London led consul Rafael Jover Mora-Figueroa to send a letter on Tuesday presenting his “voluntary resignation” in order “not to keep this controversy open.”

Jover added that there had been “nothing incorrect” about his invitation.

The Diplomatic Information Office noted the consul’s official residence was for his “personal use” 

Although Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo has not hesitated in removing diplomats from their posts in the past, in this case the Diplomatic Information Office has defended the conduct of the London consul, noting that the official residence was for his “personal use” and protected by privacy rights.

The story was broken by television station La Sexta, which also revealed that the consul acted as a personal guide to Blesa during the latter’s stay in London. The consul’s residence was purchased in 2009 at a cost of nearly €11 million, the network reported.

Rafael Jover is a veteran diplomat who has previously served as Spain’s ambassador to Jamaica, among other posts.

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