Civil Guard report says Spain's ruling party illegally financed election campaigns

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-19 21:35:09|Editor: liuxin
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MADRID, May 19 (Xinhua) -- An investigation by the Central Operations Unit of the Spanish Civil Guard concluded that the ruling People's Party of Mariano Rajoy habitually financed its election campaigns in the region of Madrid in an illegal manner.

The report, which was published in the El Mundo newspaper on Friday, is part of the investigation into what was known as "Punica" scandal.

It concluded that the Madrid branch of the PP, which was then presided over by former President of the Madrid Autonomous Community, Esperanza Aguirre, committed, "numerous irregularities, many of them of a nature which could lead to a penal sentence."

The report explained the financial irregularities led to "a profound undermining of the regulations which control electoral law and go against the principals which aim to safeguard that law, such as the necessary balance between electoral rivalry and an acceptable degree of political pluralism."

The Civil Guard concluded that at least three elections, the regional elections of 2007 and 2011 and the general election campaign of 2008 in which Rajoy was the PP candidate, were financed illegally.

This financing was carried out in various ways including cash-for-favors deals on public contracts, hidden payments from businesses, false bills, money for foundations allegedly established for other purposes and the misuse of regional government grants which were meant for training course that were never held.

The Civil Guard believe this was organized by the former Deputy President of the Madrid Regional Authority, Francisco Granados and former Regional President, Ignacio Gonzalez, both of whom are currently in jail, along with Beltran Gutierrez, the former Director of the PP in Madrid.

This news comes out a day after Rajoy had asked to give evidence in another corruption trial (Gurtel) involving his party, by videoconference on either July 26 or 27.