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Spain's new culture minister resigns at after just days

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Spain's new Culture & Sports Minister, Máxim Huerta, announced shortly after 7 p.m. on Wednesday that he had resigned from government, after a scandal broke earlier in the dayregarding irregular tax payments.

He said he was innocent and that what he had done "was not illegal at the time".

He criticised media attacks on him on Wednesday: "that seek to undermine the regeneration project of Prime Minister Sánchez", describing the press as "a pack of hounds".

"I love culture and that is why I am stepping down."

Mr. Huerta had only been in his job for a week, making him the shortest serving minister in either the modern democratic or Transition period since the death of Franco in the 1970s.

The previous shortest serving ministers in Spain were Luis García Ferrero (Agriculture Minister, UCD, 1982, 81 days) and Román Escolano (Economy Minister, PP, 2018, 85 days).

After initially defending himself mid-morning, and receiving tepid support from the Prime Minister's office, Moncloa, pressure grew throughout the day for Mr. Huerta to go, especially after a video from 2015 appeared in which Pedro Sánchez told a TV interviewer that someone fitting the exact circumstances the Culture Minister found himself in today "would be out of my executive the very next day".

Referring to PSOE party leadership, Mr. Sánchez, who was not Prime Minister at the time, said: "If I have a political leader in the general executive of my party who creates a front company to pay half of the taxes he should pay, that person would be out of my executive the very next day".

Opposition party leaders and spokesmen had called on Mr. Huerta to go, or for Mr. Sánchez to sack him, immediately.

The Spain Report

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