José Manuel Soria. Photo: Moncloa.
The Panama Papers scandal, which has had political ramifications around the world, has netted its first Canarian casuality. Many people will have heard of José Manuel Soria, the Spanish Governent’s Industria and Turismo minister from Gran Canaria, and the principal political impetus behind the now defunct plans to drill for oil off the eastern Canaries. Those who have heard of him will also be aware that he has often been surrounded by some furore or accusation, and that he always comes out fighting, giving as good as he gets, often with threats of legal action.
Today, however, Soria has resigned from his post as Government minister, and as president of the PP in the Canaries, and indeed announced that he has left politics altogether. The reason given is that there has been confusion in his responses over the last few days to his appearance in the Panama Papers for a directorship of an offshore company for just two months back in the 1990s. Some will consider it very odd that such a pugnacious and litigious politician, who has faced down scorn and hatred, and doubled down on accusations of all sorts over the years, would resign – from everything – over something so apparently trivial.
But there it is. The Canaries no longer has a Government minister in Madrid, and the Canarian Partido Popular is in search of a new president.