The mayor of Badalona (Barcelona) and former president of the Catalan Popular Party, Xavier García Albiol, joins the list of known faces linked to the ‘Pandora Papers’, as revealed by’ La Sexta ‘and’The country’.
According to these media, García Albiol received a general power of attorney to manage a company in Belize, a well-known tax haven in the north of Central America, in 2005 when he was already a senior official in the Catalan Popular Party. This society remained active, as detailed by ‘La Sexta’, until December 2015, after Albiol lost the mayor of Badalona and the baton passed to Dolors Sabater.
This power of attorney, which was processed through an Andorran manager linked to the Andbank bank, was an open and generic 23-point document that allowed opening bank accounts abroad, managing all their assets, opening checking accounts in their name or taking credits or loans. Of course, the job that the mayor of Badalona could give him or if he used it is unknown.
Specifically, Albiol received the document to manage the Luverne International society with broad powers when he was already part of the popular Executive as secretary of municipal Policy.
This company was registered on January 1, 2005 through the Alemán, Cordero, Galinde and Lee (Alcogal) law firm – one of the fourteen law firms at the center of this investigation. Edgardo E. Díaz and Myrna Navarro appear as directors, names that have already appeared in the documentation of this firm dedicated to the creation of offshore companies and that are also linked to others such as Pep Guardiola or Miguel Bosé.
“I have not charged a euro”
Albiol has assured in statements in the program Red Hot, from The sixth, that he only received powers in 2005 to carry out “business activities” with people outside of politics and the Popular Party.
The mayor of Badalona has stressed that the reasons that led him to accept the position of attorney-in-fact are limited exclusively to his situation at that time. “I did not govern. I was not mayor. I had to find an alternative to open new business fields,” said Albiol, who at that time was a councilor for the opposition in Badalona.
However, despite this need to form “new business projects”, the current mayor of the Catalan municipality assures that he has not received any financial remuneration. “It seemed interesting to me because it was opening a new possibility at a time when I had no responsibilities. I was a proxy, but I did not carry out any action and I know that this company has not had any income,” he declared.
On December 9, 2015, the dissolution of Luverne International was ordered, in which Albiol appeared as attorney-in-fact, as they have obtained The country and The sixth. However, Albiol has reiterated that in all that time he did not receive any financial compensation. “If I had charged a single euro without declaring, I would be the first to put my position at the disposal of my colleagues and the city. However, this is not the case,” he insisted.