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ROYAL TAX MYSTERY

Tax agency chief quits in wake of Princess Cristina controversy

Finance Minister Montoro welcomes decision to resign as “honorable and professional”

The director general of Spain’s AEAT tax agency stepped down on Friday, just a year and a half after taking up her post. Beatriz Viana’s resignation comes in the midst of an ongoing scandal over a blunder that attributed the sale of 13 properties worth 1.4 million euros to Princess Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said that Viana is leaving for personal reasons, while Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro, whose department oversees the AEAT, described her decision as being “extraordinarily honorable and professional.”

The tax agency has admitted to making two mistakes in the report it sent a judge regarding Princess Cristina’s assets. Her financial activities are under investigation as part of a larger inquiry into the business dealings of her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, who is believed to have misappropriated millions of euros in no-bid contracts from regional governments run by the Popular Party.

All the owners of the properties in question came forward to deny that they had purchased the homes or plots of land in question from the princess.