'Financial irregularities' claim dogs Aznar

20th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 December 2004, MADRID- The Labour Ministry of the former conservative Popular Party government of Jose Maria Aznar has been accused of financial irregularities, it was reported.

20 December 2004

MADRID- The Labour Ministry of the former conservative Popular Party government of Jose Maria Aznar has been accused of financial irregularities, it was reported.

According to a draft report from the Auditing Court, several possible cases of financial wrong-doing have been discovered in the advertising campaigns contracted by the Labour Ministry under the Popular Party's Eduardo Zaplana from 2002 to 2004, the left-leaning Spanish daily El Pais reported.

The advertising budget for the ministry was EUR 42.8 million during the PP's last term in office.

According to the court's report, conflict of interests arose when Zaplana's ministry distributed advertising contracts.

For instance, the court writes, the companies chosen for certain governmental campaigns were also the firms that created advertising for the PP.

The court also questioned a campaign that advertised the 2003 pension changes.

The ministry spent EUR 7.2 million on the campaign, although pensioners were also sent information by mail (costing EUR 600,000) a week after the campaign began.

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Subject: Spanish news

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