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Resignation or not ? Spain suspended by Pedro Sánchez's announcement

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will break his silence on Monday and announce to the country whether he is resigning or not, after the opening of an investigation ; against his wife, illustration, according to him, of a destabilization campaign orchestrated by the right-wing opposition.

In power since 2018, the 52-year-old socialist leader will speak during an “institutional address” at 12:00 p.m. (10:00 GMT), his services indicated Monday morning. This declaration will be made from the Moncloa Palace, the official residence of the Prime Minister in Madrid.

Used to outbursts and poker moves, Mr. Sánchez stunned Spain by putting his resignation in the balance on Wednesday after the announcement by a Madrid court of the opening of a preliminary investigation for influence peddling and corruption against his wife, Begoña Gómez.

“I need to stop and think” in order to decide “if I should continue to be at the head of the government,” he wrote in a four-page letter, published on the social network X.

< IMG Alt = "AFP" SRC = "https://img-4.linternaux.com/xgqlxakvhcxqs_nrl6vzkye_k2w=/600x/smart/ab3a2172c504473d81e8a9ea838432f1/ccmcms-lintern JPG " /> Demonstration in support of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in Madrid, April 27, 2024 © AFP – OSCAR DEL POZO

Absolutely unprecedented, Pedro Sánchez has since suspended all his public activities when he was notably due to launch the May 12 regional campaign in Catalonia on Thursday evening, a national election in which his Socialist Party hopes to oust the separatists from power.

Chanting “Pedro, stay!”, thousands of supporters gathered on Saturday in front of the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid to ask the Prime Minister not to leave his post.

– Elections or question of confidence ? –

If he resigns, new early elections could be convened after those of July 23, with or without him at the head of the Socialist Party (PSOE). The PSOE could also decide to present the inauguration, as Prime Minister, of another of its leaders.

Resignation or not ? Spain suspended by Pedro Sánchez&#39;s announcement

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his wife Begoña Gomez, July 23, 2023 during an electoral rally in Getafe, a suburb of Madrid © AFP – JAVIER SORIANO

If he remains in his post, Pedro Sánchez could choose to submit to a question of confidence in order to show the opposition that he enjoys the support of a majority of deputies.< /p>

The investigation against Pedro Sánchez's wife, placed under the seal of investigative secrecy, was opened following a complaint from the association “Manos limpias” (Clean Hands), a collective close to the 'extreme right.

It relates in particular, according to the online media El Confidencial, to the links established by Begoña Gómez with the Globalia group, sponsor of the foundation in which she was working at a time when Air Europa, an airline belonging to Globalia, was negotiating with the Sánchez government to obtain public aid.

Resignation or not ? Spain suspended by Pedro Sánchez&#39;s announcement

Demonstration against Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, April 26, 2024 in front of the headquarters of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in Madrid © AFP – OSCAR DEL POZO

This company actually received, in November 2020, 475 million euros, from a 10 billion fund intended to support strategic companies in difficulty due to the pandemic. But dozens of others followed, including several of its competitors (Iberia, Vueling, Volotea…).

The prosecution requested on Thursday that this investigation be closed, while Manos Limpias admitted that his complaint was based solely on press articles, but the judge in charge of the case has not yet revealed his intentions.

– “Adolescent spectacle” –

Figure hated by the opposition, Pedro Sánchez – who governs with the far left and benefits from the support of Basque and Catalan separatists – wants to see in this affair a campaign orchestrated by “a coalition of right-wing and far-right interests” who “do not accept the verdict of the ballot boxes”.

“This is an operation of harassment and demolition(…) to make me falter politically and on a personal level by attacking my wife”, a- he wrote in his letter.

Resignation or not ? Spain suspended by Pedro Sánchez&#39;s announcement

Demonstrators demand the resignation of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, April 26, 2024 in Madrid © AFP – OSCAR DEL POZO

Very polarized, the political context has become very tense in recent months in Spain due to the fierce opposition of the right to an amnesty law for the separatists involved in the attempted secession of the Catalonia in 2017.

Very controversial concession from the Prime Minister to the Catalan separatists, in exchange for their support for his renewal for a new mandate in November, this law was passed in first reading by the deputies in March and should be definitively adopted at the end of May.

The right-wing opposition has been ridiculing Pedro Sánchez since Wednesday, accusing him of wanting pretending to be a victim.

“A government leader cannot make a spectacle of himself like a teenager so that everyone starts chasing him “imploring not to leave and not to get angry,” quipped the leader of the Popular Party (right), Alberto Núñez Feijóo.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116