Bolsa Madrid gambling firm Grupo Codere SA has caused controversy with its appointment of former Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala as a corporate advisor.
Codere has stated to Spanish media that Catala a figurehead of Spain’s Partido Popular (Conservative Party) and former board member of the company between 2005-2011, will act as a ‘legal and regulatory advisor, with no executive functions’.
Furthermore, Codere states that Catala ‘will not perform any lobbying‘ for the company’s interests, as Spain’s PSOE and Podemos parties outline wholesale reforms to Spanish gambling, should a socialist coalition government be formed, a task which is proving to be very difficult for incumbents.
The advisory appointment was met with instant political backlash as Podemos party members accused the Partido Popular and Catala of becoming spin doctors for Spain’s gambling industry.
Mientras en Podemos apostábamos por aumentar la regulación de las casas de apuestas, el exministro Catalá ha preferido jugar a la ruleta las puertas giratorias y ha sido fichado por la casa de apuestas Codere. No es cosa de azar que sus políticas favoreciesen solo a unos pocos.
— PODEMOS (@ahorapodemos) July 30, 2019
Partido Popular maintains that it has no concerns related to Catala’s relationship with the Bolsa Madrid gambling group, as the former Justice Minister for the Mariano Rajoy government has chosen to depart his position as Deputy for the province of Cuenca.
Defending their former colleague, Partido Popular states that the attacks on Catala and Codere are distractions by Podemos and PSOE who seek to deflect from their ‘inefficiencies at forming a coalition government’, following three months of failed negotiations.