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Spanish science minister, Pedro Duque, has a luxury chalet in Xàbia, Valencia, in the name of a sociedad patrimonial, OkDiario has reported. A sociedad patrimonial, in Spanish law, is essentially an asset-management company, normally holding with a property portfolio. Such a mechanism could allow him to reduce his tax bill.

According to the report, Duque, who was the first Spanish astronaut, and his wife, María Consuelo Femenía, are administrators of Copenhague Gestores de Inmuebles SL, a company created the same day the property was acquired. The creation of such businesses would allow for the avoidance of amounts of income tax, wealth tax and, what's more, allows for the deduction of expenses against company tax.

Duque's denial

The minister said he hasn't done anything "illegal nor irregular". Ministry sources support their boss, saying that nothing alleged by OkDiario "constitutes anything illegal or irregular on the part of the minister of science, innovation and universities".

Podemos wanted an explanation

This morning, the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, in an interview with Cadena Ser, recalled that the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, promised that any minister who created a company to "pay half their taxes" would be out the next day.

As such, his party and Compromís called on Duque to publicly give an explanation about the chalet under question, which he did later in the day. "It's perfectly legal and normal", claimed the minister, who added that "there has been no real saving on taxes".