Spanish Ambassador to India Gustavo de Aristegui, has quit office in the backdrop of charges about getting kickbacks for obtaining contracts for Spanish companies in Algeria and sent money all the way up to senior Spanish politicians.
Aristegui asserted a “campaign of destruction” has been launched against him and he was quitting to “do no harm either to the government or its president during the poll campaign”, according to EFE, the Spanish news agency. Investigations are on to find out whether some of the contracts had Indian connections and if Aristegui took commissions from Spanish companies for contracts in India.
In his resignation letter addressed to foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the envoy said, the attacks on his honour justified his resignation after a “polluted campaign” against him over the charges, reported in El Mundo newspaper last week.
The envoy’s resignation spread fire rapidly in diplomatic circles in New Delhi. The envoy’s resignation has come as a setback to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his Popular Party (PP), who are seeking re-election in the December 20 poll. What has particularly hurt Rajoy is that Aristegui’s partner in this episode is Pedro Gomez de la Serne, a prominent member of parliament and a leader from the PP.