MADRID – Spanish Culture and Sports Minister Maxim Huerta resigned on Wednesday, just a week after taking over the portfolio, when it became known that he defrauded the treasury for 218,000 euros (about $257,000) in taxes and subsequently had to pay back 366,000 euros.
“I’m leaving because I love Culture,” said Huerta, who asserted his innocence before reporters and said that he had been the victim of “a pack of dogs,” referring to the criticism he had received over the matter.
“Innocence is worth nothing against this pack,” he emphasized.
The now ex-minister went to Moncloa Palace, the seat of the executive branch, to present his resignation to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and in his appearance before the press he said that “there are moments when one has to withdraw and I love Culture.”
Spain’s El Confidencial newspaper on Wednesday reported that Huerta was sanctioned by a court in 2017 for unpaid back taxes from 2006, 2007 and 2008, when he was working in television and he had declared his income as that of a trading company.
Huerta told reporters that during those years he declared his income as being earned via a company, which he said was allowed at the time and meant that he would pay less taxes than if he had declared his earnings as personal income.
With his resignation, the 47-year-old journalist and writer becomes the minister who has served the shortest time in office since Spain returned to democracy.