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Spanish mayor ousted after being exposed in Pandora Papers

The conservative mayor of the third-largest city in Spain’s Catalonia region was ousted Monday after being named in the Pandora Papers.

Xavier Garcia Albiol appeared in the trove of leaked documents that revealed the murky financial dealings of hundreds of politicians, business leaders, celebrities, and criminals.

According to the papers, Garcia Albiol held the general power of attorney of a company in Belize while he was the secretary of municipal policy for the Popular Party in Catalonia in 2005.

At first, he said he had no idea about the company in Belize. Later, he denied all wrongdoing, insisting the offshore company was legal and that he did not benefit from it.

He was voted out of office in a motion of no confidence, with all opposition parties voting for his removal.

As mayor of Badalona from 2011 to 2015, Garcia Albiol railed against immigrants and was accused of xenophobia against Roma people.

In 2020, he was reinstated after the city’s Socialist mayor was caught drunk driving during the April 2020 lockdown and later assaulted police.

“We are here to recompose ourselves from the beating Badalona has taken,” said Ruben Guijarro of the Catalan Socialist Party, who just became Badalona’s new mayor.

“Today, the lies end and we begin our path toward the truth, transparency and regeneration.”

The Pandora Papers are a trove of 11.9 million documents that were leaked to the International Consortium of Journalists.

In Spain, 600 people were named in the leak including singers Julio Iglesias and Shakira, Manchester City coach Josep Guardiola, and even Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I.

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