27 November 2014.
Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato resigned on Wednesday after Judge Pablo Ruz found that she had financially benefitted from a corruption deal. The judge noted that Mato either directly or through her former husband, Jesus Sepulveda, or in the company of her family members received gifts and commissions from Gurtel Organization. Sepulveda is a former senator of the ruling Peoples’ Party (PP) and former mayor Pozuelo, a town just outside of Madrid.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will on Thursday present a new law aimed at tightening political party accounting rules, the day after his health minister resigned amid a corruption scandal. Her resignation was accepted by Rajoy. His government has been embarrassed by the investigation into illegal payments for public contracts. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has promised to crackdown on corruption in Spain. With the general elections coming in 2015, corruption is the main concern after unemployment.
Health Minister Ana Mato was not a very popular minster in the PP government. She was heavily criticized for the way she handled the case of the Spanish nurse who was infected with Ebola after caring for two elderly missionaries who died from the disease at a Madrid hospital.
Mato scandal came to light after an investigation was ordered into Gurtel organization after a scandal broke out in early 2009. Investigations revealed that some 43 people will face charges of receiving gifts and commissions from Gurtel.
Gurtel provided benefits in the form of tourist services, payment for family events and articles for personal use.
Mato said that she was resigning because she does not want the government, the party or the prime minister to suffer from the scandal.
The judge noted that between 1999 and 2005, Sepulveda received at least $916,986 (euros 732,640) from Gurtel directed by Francisco Correa “in payment for public contracts which were awarded irregularly.”