Spain's industry minister has resigned after being tied to an offshore firm in the Panama Papers leak. The Popular Party member is the latest political victim from a widening scandal over global tax avoidance.
Spanish industry minister Jose Manuel Soria said Friday in a statement that he had tendered his resignation "in light of the succession of mistakes committed along the past few days, relating to my explanations over my business activities ... and considering the obvious harm that this situation is doing to the Spanish government."
Soria continues to deny he broke the law and painted his resignation as an act of self-sacrifice in the interests of his right-leaning People's Party which will likely face a general election after inconclusive results from December's poll.
Panama Papers ripple effect
Soria's allegedly shady business dealings were first reported in Spanish news site El Confidencial, which has had access to the Panama Papers. The files, which were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, named Soria as an administrator of an offshore firm for two months in 1992.
Soria quickly convened a news conference to deny any link to Panamanian firms but, as the week progressed, more allegations emerged from other media outlets that alleged to reveal additional connections to offshore havens.
Revelations from the unprecedented Panama Papers data trove has already forced the resignation of Iceland's prime minister and put added pressure on British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose own holdings in offshore trusts have caused a storm of controversy in the UK.
jar/sms (AP, AFP)