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The Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (Junts) have questioned the involvement that Salvador Illa may have had in the Koldo case, centred on alleged corruption in face mask contracting during the pandemic. The issue was raised this Wednesday in the Congress of Deputies, during an appearance by transport minister, Óscar Puente, to report on the case with regard to his ministry, in which the supposed plot originated. Deputies Francesc Marc-Álvaro (Junts) and Pilar Calvo (ERC) stopped short, in their speeches to the chamber, of accusing Illa, now Catalan Socialist (PSC) candidate for the Catalan presidency, of being directly involved, but they did affirm that, as Spanish health minister during the worst months of the Covid-19 emergency, he owes the public an explanation of his relationship to a case that has stained several of his Socialist colleagues.

The ERC deputy did not mention the name of Salvador Illa, but he referred to it very directly: "Sánchez said his phrase about 'no matter who falls [we will root out corruption]', but he should also think about the person who is now a candidate for election and was a minister during the pandemic”. "Everyone will have many things to explain", added Álvaro. Pilar Calvo was more direct, but without mentioning that Illa is currently the PSC candidate in the election of May 12th: "The Spanish health minister was Salvador Illa, there was a problem with the purchase of health equipment and there was not enough control, so there were those who profited; minister Illa must give explanations because it is as serious not to know as it is to have consented to it".

It should be borne in mind that this Thursday the Congress of Deputies will vote on the creation of a commission of inquiry in this chamber on the purchase of medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. It is taken for granted that the initiative will go ahead, and that the regular partners of the PSOE in the chamber will support its creation. It must be remembered, however, that the objective of the Socialists is to redirect the commission towards Isabel Díaz Ayuso, now that information has appeared about her romantic partner's tax fraud and because her brother was also investigated for having received commissions during 2020 for the purchase of face masks.

The Junts MP made it very clear that the intention of her party will be to bring the PSC's candidate for the Catalan presidency to testify before this commission. "We hope that Illa will provide the appropriate explanations to show what degree of knowledge or ignorance he had of what was happening in his ministry; we want explanations from Salvador Illa", she insisted.

The PP places Illa as a "figure" in the Koldo case

Earlier the PP deputy Esther Muñoz had also tried - without offering any solid argument - to connect the man she called the "brand new PSC candidate" in the Catalan election with the Koldo case, labeling the former health minister as a "facilitator". Muñoz asserted that the Catalan Socialist leader "bought masks in the [Koldo] plot, and his chief of staff exchanged messages with the plot", defining the first secretary of the PSC as one more "figure” in the network involved in the Koldo case. Her list also includes the speaker of Congress, Francina Armengol; the interior minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; the current deputy PM, María Jesús Montero; and the current territorial minister, Ángel Víctor Torres; as well as Koldo García and José Luis Ábalos.