Spy scandal affects heads of companies and banks in Spain

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — From the accusation of a former bank official to espionage operations during the battles on the stock exchange, the heads of companies and banks are facing old corruption cases returned to the forefront by a former policeman shaking the information revealed by the highest authorities of the state.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez news
File AFP

Recordings released regularly by former police commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo years ago, shook ministers and the royal family. He has been in prison since 2017 and has been accused by current Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of “extortion”.

But the broad espionage scandal caused by Viarijo also affected the Madrid stock market, starting with the second Spanish bank, BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Argentina), whose former president Francisco Gonzalez was forced to withdraw in March.

This week, two other corporate figures were involved in the scandal: Cement tycoon Florentino Perez, president of the construction giant ACS and president of Real Madrid, and his arch-foe Ignacio Galán, president of the multinational energy group Iberdrola.

Peres announced in a statement immediately that he would resort to a judicial procedure that would allow him to “bring criminal and civil lawsuits against potential officials and this could include (…) the president of Iberdrola and the people around him.”

– Resignation –

The construction group “ACS” announced the resignation of Manuel Delgado, known to be very close to Florentino Perez, from its board of directors, after the disclosure of recordings of a confusing dialogue between him and Commissioner Viarjo.

After an internal investigation, the Iberdrola group admitted in October that it had resorted 17 times to the Senate group, led by the commissioner and theoretically mandated to study the market between 2004 and 2017, but confirmed that “all controls and procedures were carried out properly.”

Following the release of new information, the group decided to launch a new internal investigation in early October.

A judicial source said that the national court in charge of investigating the case of Viarejo, opened a special investigation “Iberdrola.”

This week the court heard former and current senior officials of BBVA, including Francisco Gonzalez. Ten in total were charged with corruption.

They are suspected of using illegal wiretaps by the former police commissioner in 2004 to prevent SACIR from becoming a shareholder in the bank’s capital.

After the first confusing recordings were published in early 2019, Gonzalez was forced to relinquish honorary positions in March at the bank, which also admitted to resorting to Viarego’s services and opened an internal investigation.

– Extortion –

“After the [judicial investigation] is over, it will become clear that the BBVA group and its officials have always acted fairly and in an exemplary manner,” Gonzales told reporters.

The economic newspaper “Cinco Dias” on Tuesday that “the branches of Viarejo in the judiciary leaves a bitterness” but “it is not a big surprise.”

For years this former police commissioner has recorded contacts with figures in the political, judicial and economic world.

He was accused of enriching by getting paid for campaigns to discredit, threaten or blackmail personalities. Documents in possession of Viarijo and other policemen appear to have been used by the former conservative Mariano Rajoy government to discredit its political opponents.

The scandals did not provide former King Juan Carlos. In a recording attributed to Viarjo and published by two Spanish media outlets in 2018, his mistress Corina Tso Sain Wittgenstein says the Spanish monarch received a commission during the award of Spanish companies a contract in Saudi Arabia in 2011.

In a statement published in August in several media outlets, Viareggio threatened to reveal more information about other big companies.

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