April 25 (UPI) — Madrid leader Cristina Cifuentes stepped down Wednesday amid shoplifting allegations, which are supported by video footage of the incident.
Cifuentes is accused of shoplifting two bottles of anti-aging cream in 2011. The video footage purportedly shows her handing them over to a supermarket security guard.
Last week, Cifuentes, 53, also surrendered a master’s degree she obtained from King Juan Carlos University after allegations that two signatures on the document were forged. Accusations say she never attended classes or took exams for the degree.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Cifuentes announced her resignation.
“In the political situation in which we are living through, and after having spoken to my team about it, I’m announcing my resignation as the premier of the Madrid region,” Cifuentes said. “In life, you have to think about the general interest above the interests of just one person.”
Cifuentes said the video amounted to a “campaign of harassment and demolition that has gone beyond politics.”
She also said the shoplifting incident had been a mistake — “an involuntary thing” that she paid for.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said “a new stage has emerged in Madrid.
“I hope these things do not happen again,” he said.