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Madrid regional president’s partner faces tax fraud probe

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Spanish tax authorities are investigating Alberto González Amador, the partner of the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, for alleged fraud. The accusations involved false invoices and front companies being used for medical supplies and equipment during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. This is the latest scandal related to the pandemic to hit the country in the past two weeks.

On Tuesday (12 March), Juan Lobato, leader of the PSOE in Madrid, demanded that Díaz Ayuso (Spanish People’s Party (PP), EPP) “shed full light” on the alleged tax fraud committed by her partner.

It has been reported that González Amador, a partner of Ayuso’s since 2021, faces accusations of defrauding the Treasury of €350,951 between 2020 and 2021. The Madrid prosecutor’s office received a complaint filed on 5 March after receiving a report by the Spanish Tax Agency, wrote on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, the tax office had started investigating his tax returns for 2021 and 2022 two years earlier, when suspicious money flows from his companies were noticed.

González Amador’s companies submitted 15 false invoices for fictitious expenses totalling €1.7 million. This method was used to deduct expenses that were never incurred, reducing the profits declared to the tax authorities, which resulted in him paying €350,000 less tax over two years.

A case of revenge?

This new scandal comes only two weeks after media reports exposed a corruption case involving a former adviser to the government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE, S&D), who has also been linked to illicit enrichment during the pandemic, referred to as the ‘Koldo case‘.

The investigation made headlines following a complaint by the PP group in Madrid’s regional parliament, led by Díaz Ayuso, who is seen as the future leader of the party.

Following the Koldo case revelations, Díaz Ayuso strongly criticised the country’s government and directly targeted Sánchez.

Many analysts believe the regional president committed an act of revenge in response to a complaint filed in 2022 by the left-wing parties Más Madrid, Podemos, and the PSOE. The complaint was filed against her brother, Tomás Díaz Ayuso, allegedly charging an illegal commission of €55,000 for a contract supplying face masks to the Comunidad de Madrid (regional government) during the pandemic.

“There is no point in double standards in politics (…) with the outrageous things we have heard these days, and today we see this,” said PSOE leader in Madrid Juan Lobato on Tuesday.

After González Amador’s corruption revelation, Lobato demanded Díaz Ayuso shed “full light” on the case. He insisted that both she and her partner must explain whether this “money that has been stolen from all Spaniards” was used to pay for her €1 million apartment in Madrid.

Ultimately, if the treasury is investigating Ayuso’s partner, “he will have to respond like any other citizen,” said PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo on Tuesday, stressing that Díaz Ayuso was not the subject of the investigation.

Ayuso has since responded to the investigation.

“Now it was time to (attack my) boyfriend. This is part of what I have been suffering for five years,” Díaz Ayuso told the press on Tuesday, and was aware of her partner’s tax audit and knew the government would try to create a ‘plot’ against her.

She insisted, “Here there has been neither a plot (of corruption), nor parallel networks, nor anything of what they are trying to do from the Moncloa (seat of government), which I know that from the first hour (the government) is calling the television stations asking (…) to generate or create a plot where there is a tax inspection of a citizen who has nothing to do with the Community of Madrid.”

[Edited by Rajnish Singh]

Read more with Euractiv



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