Spanish Industry Minister, Jose Manuel Soria resigned on Friday following his contradicting explanations over links to an offshore company listed in the Panama Paper.
Soria came under heavy scrutiny early in the week over his involvement in an offshore firm, U.K. Lines Limited, set up by Mossack Fonseca.
He also resigned as the chairman of the regional Popular Party in the Canary Islands. He is expected to appear before the parliament on Monday morning to explain his version of events.
According to El Confidencial and La Sexta, Mr. Soria was the director of the Bahamas based company for two months period in 1992, while he joined politics in 1995 as the Mayor of Las Palmas (Canary Islands). The said company was wound up weeks prior to his first election 21 years ago.
Media analysts believe the minister handled the media presentation badly – and subsequent public fallout of his difficulties over the course of the week.
The minister was quoted saying “I neither have nor have had companies registered in Panama”, he said, apparently failing to remember the company was registered in the Bahamas: “it’s false”.
On Thursday, El Mundo published an article indicating Mr. Soria as a director of yet another company, a Jersey based offshore company called Mechanical Trading Limited up until November 2002, when it was dissolved.
Not only did the new revelation disprove the minister’s own aggressive denials, it also showed he had been the director of the offshore company, Mechanical Trading Limited, while he was the Mayor of Las Palmas in the 1990s.