The shortest ministry ever

The journalist leaves the ministry for a case of tax avoidance 10 years ago; Sánchez faces his first crisis in government and names José Guirao minister

“I am resigning so that this outcry does not destroy Pedro Sánchez’s project.” Only six days in office. Just enough time to for Màxim Huerta to participate in the first family photo of the Cabinet last Friday. Not even enough time to present his policy outline to Parliament. Màxim Huerta abandoned the Ministry of Culture and Sports yesterday afternoon and became the most ephemeral minister ever in a Spanish cabinet, following a demolishing revelation that between 2006 and 2008 he defrauded €218,000 from the Treasury, ending up paying those taxes plus a fine: a total of €366,000. In fact, Sánchez had lauded him as a star signing, going so far as to keep his name secret until the last minute.

The revelation by the newspaper El Confidencial which forced Sánchez to act so quickly related to a case that occurred 10 years ago which Huerta insisted could not be considered tax fraud as it was a system used often in the world of culture at that time which was not illegal. He also claimed personal expenses as income derivatives. However, with a change in the law, the now former minister became liable, appealed the case, lost and paid the fine. Speaking to the press yesterday morning Huerta said he had explained the facts to Sánchez and that the prime minister accepted his explanation.

Criticism began to mount as the day drew on with calls for his resignation from the PP and Ciutadans and the PSOE itself. Later in the afternoon a recording came to light of Sánchez saying in 2015 that if a member of his government was found to have created a company to avoid tax, he would be sacked in 24 hours. Said and done.

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