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Spain's acting Industry Minister resigns

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By Catherine Hardy with Reuters, AFP
Spain's acting Industry Minister resigns
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From today, I am leaving political life

What is happening?

Spain’s acting Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria has resigned.

It comes after his name was linked to offshore companies in Panama and Jersey at the beginning of the week.

Two Spanish media outlets say they have seen documents proving he headed an offshore firm with his brother.

The Panama Papers claim another scalp

Soria is among scores of public figures worldwide who have been linked to the “Panama Papers” – 11.5 million leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specialises in setting up offshore companies.

Soria denies all wrongdoing.

He says he is stepping down to limit any damage to the caretaker centre-right People’s Party government.

The PP has been plagued by a string of corruption scandals.

Politicians from all parties, currently struggling to form a coalition to head the next government after inconclusive elections in December, have called for Soria’s resignation.

Spain is facing a potential second general election after an inconclusive vote in December.

What they are saying

“I totally deny that I have anything to do with any company based in Panama, or any other tax haven. From today, I am leaving political life,” – Jose Manuel Soria denies an allegation that he administered the Bahamas-based offshore company UK Lines Limited in 1992.

“The example to follow is Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunlaugsson,” – Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez.