The president of the autonomous community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, has announced her resignation shortly after midday this Wednesday, hours after a video was published of her allegedly robbing two tubs of face cream from a supermarket. She said it had been an "involuntary mistake" and that she later paid for them. Cifuentes said she had been thinking of announcing her resignation after 2nd May, a public holiday in the Community of Madrid, although the "extortion attempts" and "lynching" of recent weeks, followed by this latest scandal, have made her bring the decision forwards.
She had already been under fire over questions about a Masters degree (link in Catalan) she got in 2014 from King Juan Carlos University whilst the central government delegate to Madrid. Two of those whose signatures were on her certificate said they had been forged, marks were alleged to have changed and neither the university nor the former president has produced a copy of her thesis. Last week, she renounced the degree, but denied doing anything illegal.
"I don't want to hurt my family and want them to stop suffering from this agony", she said today, after describing how she has "endured" 34 days of personal and professional torment. "My whole life is being put in doubt", she said, as well as claiming that she has "suffered lynching morning, noon and night by land, air and sea", "many red lines have been crossed" and that "I've made many mistakes during my life and I will continue making them". She was speaking to the press at the headquarters of the Madrid government but didn't accept any questions.
However, the former president, who made no comment as to whether she will also resign her seat. "The attitude of zero tolerance with corruption is part of the price that has to be paid", she said, seemingly insinuating there were ulterior motives behind the leaking of a video which, she said, was already known to the media.
She noted that, if she hadn't resigned before 7th May, she could have faced a motion of no-confidence spearheaded by PSOE with support from Podemos and Ciudadanos. "I can't allow the radical left to govern the Community, it's something that's made me think a lot", she said after Cs decided to not revoke its ultimatum. In the end, she made her decision today, after a meeting with her team whom she thanked for its support and "good management" of Madrid.