The Spanish army chief of staff, General Miguel Angel Villaroya, resigned Saturday after he was accused of ignoring the protocol to receive the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, the General Staff announced in a statement.
“To preserve the image of the armed forces, General Villaroya submitted his resignation today to the Minister of Defense,” the statement said.
A source in the General Staff said Defense Minister Margarita Robles had accepted the resignation.
On Friday, the Minister of Interior dismissed a lieutenant colonel from the Civil Guard Liaison Unit at the Army Staff, following an internal report that concluded that he received the vaccine without being among the priority groups, while Spain is currently giving more than a million doses primarily to workers in the sector Medical and residing in nursing homes.
Several other staff members are accused in this report of receiving the first dose of the vaccine without them having the right to do so.
Villaruía, the 63-year-old Air Force general, assured that he had never intended “to take advantage of unjustified privileges.”
In addition to the military, political officials from various parties received the first dose of the vaccine without belonging to any of the priority groups, including the local health advisor in Mercia (southeast), who was also forced to resign.
The Ministry of Defense stated Villaroya’s resignation but did not explicitly acknowledge that he had been vaccinated.
The ministry said that the general “never intended to take advantage of unjustified privileges that harm the image of the armed forces and call into question the general’s honor.”
The ministry said Villaruia “made decisions that I thought were correct but which damaged the public image of the armed forces.”