POLITICS

Podemos co-founder produces bank statements to refute press claims

The balances made public by Juan Carlos Monedero total €205,769 Spanish daily ‘El Mundo’ had claimed he held €700,000 in his accounts

Podemos secretary Luis Alegre appears before the press in Madrid on Monday.
Podemos secretary Luis Alegre appears before the press in Madrid on Monday.Chema Moya (EFE)

Juan Carlos Monedero, the co-founder of Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos party and director of the organization’s electoral platform, produced bank statements on Monday that showed he holds a total of €205,769 in his four bank accounts. The move came in response to accusations by Spanish daily El Mundo that he was holding €700,000 in three different accounts.

Monedero has come under fire since it emerged that he had earned €425,150 for past work as a consultant to the governments of Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador. He paid €70,000 in company tax on the income via his consulting firm in 2013, but last week made a second payment to the Tax Agency of €200,000 for income tax, fines and late fees on the same amount, after he was deemed to have avoided declaring the funds as personal income. Monedero is now asking to be reimbursed the original €70,000 sum paid as company tax.

Podemos participation secretary Luis Alegre insisted Monedero had not committed “any offense or fraud”

The leadership of Podemos, which is campaigning on anti-austerity, anti-corruption policies, has come out in support of its co-founder, but has failed to make a statement on the effect that this issue could have on the image of the emerging party.

The participation secretary of Podemos, Luis Alegre, has insisted that Monedero has not committed “any offense or fraud,” adding on Monday that “ethical issues will have to be judged by citizens.” He went on to condemn the actions of Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro, whom he accused of using state institutions to attack Podemos. “For the finance minister to behave as a […] civil servant in the pay of his party instead of acting like a minister for all Spaniards is something about which we feel infinite regret,” he said.

For his part, Finance Minister Montoro called on the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, to publish the financial statements of his colleagues. “Mr Iglesias explains himself very well in public, but if he would just bring down his tone a notch or two and come up with statements for all his party members, he would be serving all Spaniards much better,” Montoro told news agency EFE.

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