Court Orders EIB’s Alvarez to Deposit $41 Million in Graft Case

Magdalena Alvarez, a vice president at European Investment Bank, was ordered to deposit 29.5 million euros ($41 million) by a Spanish judge as part of a corruption probe.

The Seville-based judge, Mercedes Alaya, is investigating whether a subsidies payment made to companies in the region between 2000 and 2011 was corrupt. Alvarez was Andalusia’s head of budget and economy from 1994 to 2004, and Spain’s public works minister during the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Alvarez plans to appeal the order, which is a precautionary measure, she said in an e-mailed statement.

“I would like to declare my total innocence,” Alvarez said.

Matilde del Valle, a Luxembourg-based press officer at EIB, didn’t answer calls and e-mails seeking comment.

The case adds to an institutional crisis in Spain as faith in politicians and public bodies slumps amid a series of corruption investigations involving members of the royal family, executives, politicians and unions. In April last year, 1,661 corruption and financial crime cases were being pursued, and political corruption cases continue to increase, according to a report by the European Commission released last month.

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