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'Slush fund critics are hypocrites': Ex-official

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'Slush fund critics are hypocrites': Ex-official
Miguel Ángel Rodríguez during a panel discussion on Spain's Antena 3 channel. Screen grab: YouTube
16:33 CEST+02:00
A former top official for Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) has justified handouts made by ex-party treasurer Luis Bárcenas in a TV interview by stating "it's impossible" to work without bonuses.

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, communications director for the PP during the 1990s, told the panel on the debate programme Espejo Público that Spanish “society was being very hypocritical” by assuming that politicians could be on top of every aspect of society without political aides.

“People expect politicians to be at all places at all times, to hold good meetings and give great interviews, to have excellent press officers and advisers, and someone has to pay for all that,” Rodríguez said during the panel discussion show on Spanish TV channel Antena 3.

The former politician, who is now a communications adviser and writer, was responding to presenter Susana Griso’s question about whether certain political campaigns were paid for with under-the-table payments.

Spain’s ruling PP is currently wrapped up in a corruption scandal involving the alleged existence of an illegal slush fund used to make payments to top party officials.

The former treasurer of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party, Luis Bárcenas, told Spain's High Court on Monday he had handed €25,000 ($33,000) in 500-euro notes to the prime minister in March 2010.

Spain's socialist opposition PSOE party have called for Rajoy to resign while the PP have distanced themselves from their ex-treasurer.

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