The Ministry of Health has opened an investigation to ascertain whether the mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana (PP), a doctor by profession, did not attend his job in the Territorial Directorate of Health in Alicante between 2007 and 2014, during which time he drew a salary of 55,116.26 euros per year”.

According to the reports published in the Spanish newspaper, Bascuñana was functionally attached to the Territorial Directorate of the Ministry of Health in Alicante for six years, but did not attend in all that time, despite pocketing a large salary. The Ministry has asked its Territorial Directorate for a complete report specifying the exact position.

The spokesman of Ciudadanos, Juan Ignacio López-Bas, coalition partners of the PP government announced on Thursday that if the Ministry confirms the information published “we will ask Emilio Bascuñana to take a step back and the C’s will consider leaving the government or asking for his resignation.”

Bascuñana has firmly stated “that the accusations are completely false” and that “they have been taken out of context and may appear to be what they are not”, in addition to stating that the data “has been manipulated.”

The mayor reminded people that he has been working for the public health service for more than 20 years and points out that, after suffering a heart attack in 2007, “I was advised to carry out only low-intensity work”.

Thus began a period, between November 1, 2007 and January 7, 2014, in which he was attached to the Territorial Directorate of Health in Alicante, performing his work as a consultant and developing reports on the management of resources in the field of services against drug addiction, in which he said that he was considered “an expert” due to his experience in the Red Cross, to which he has also been linked for more than 30 years.

Meanwhile the local spokeswoman of the PSOE, Carolina Gracia, regretted that Orihuela is seen again “to be linked to shenanigans and corruption” and has described these accusations as “very serious”, pointing out that “corruption seems to be part of the DNA of the PP”.