OTHER NEWS

By Jason Moore

THE Speaker of the Balearic Parliament, Maria Antonio Munar, spectacularly quit her post last night and announced that she was standing down from politics.

Munar´s shock announcement came after Miguel Nadal, a former political ally and member of her own Majorcan Unionist Party, told a Palma judge that she had handed him 300'000 euros in cash in an official car to buy a TV production company which is at the centre of a police investigation regarding the mis-use of public funds.

Munar, in a statement last night, denied the allegations and said that during her long political career she had always acted within the law.
Nadal, a former minister for tourism, is being investigated over claims that large sums of public money were misappropriated using the Video U. TV production company. Earlier in the day, three former company directors of Video U. claimed that both Nadal and Munar were behind any wrongdoing in the company. Munar is already being investigated over a number of corruption allegations. However, the announcement last night that she was stepping down will come as a shock to the local political establishment as she is one of the longest serving politicians. She has served as Balearic Minister for Culture and Sports, President of the Council of Majorca and Speaker of the Balearic Parliament. She was replaced by Nadal as leader of the Majorcan Unionist Party. But police are investigating a series of allegations which have been made while she was President of the Council of Majorca and Nadal was her Deputy. She has already appeared in court twice, on the last occasion she refused to answer any questions from the judge.

Her decision to quit will come as a major blow for her party which was expelled from the coalition Balearic government earlier this month as a result of the corruption allegations which have been made against senior members of the Majorcan Unionist Party.

Last night it was still unclear who would be named as the new Speaker of the Balearic Parliament. There was also much speculation over the future of the Majorcan Unionist Party.

In a speech earlier this year Munar accused the judiciary of carrying out a witch-hunt and said that politicians in the Balearics were being subjected to a trial by media. She has also hit out against the corruption allegations which have been made against her party.

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