Spread the love

The Spanish Prime Minister decides to stay in power, to the great dismay of the right

Photo: Oscar del Pozo Agence France-Presse The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, had threatened to resign in the face of a “campaign of discredit”.

Mathieu Gorse – Agence France-Presse in Madrid

Posted at 12:12 p.m. Updated at 5:33 p.m.

  • Europe

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced Monday that he would remain in power after threatening to resign for five days in the face of a “campaign of discredit” launched, according to him, by the right-wing opposition which accused of “making fun” of the Spaniards.

“I have decided to continue” at the head of the government, said, in a serious tone, the leader 52-year-old socialist, in power since 2018, from the steps of the Moncloa Palace, seat of the government presidency.

Absolutely unprecedented, Mr. Sánchez remained silent and suspended all his public activities after the announcement on Wednesday by a Madrid court of the opening of a preliminary investigation for “influence peddling” and “corruption”. against his wife, Begoña Gómez.

Causing the amazement of the entire country, he then published a four-page letter in which he explained to the Spaniards that he planned to resign to protect his family.

Denying on Monday any “political calculation” and assuring that the suspicions against his wife were the product of disinformation, he said that the five-day break he had observed was intended to push the country to undertake “collective reflection” in order to prevent “misinformation from ruling the public debate”.

< p>“Either we say 'enough!' or the degradation of public life will determine our future and doom us as a country,” he added.

Later, in an interview on public television, Mr. Sánchez explained that his wife had asked him not to throw in the towel. “She was the first to tell me not to quit. »

He also called for “an end to insults in public life”, but was pessimistic: harassment “will increase”.

“Not up to par”

The leader of the opposition, the great conservative rival of Mr. Sánchez, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, unreservedly condemned the prime minister's announcement, accusing him of having “made fun of the Spaniards” by deciding to stay in power.

< p>Spain “does not have a president of government who is worthy of its citizens,” said the leader of the Popular Party (PP). “Today he lost a fantastic opportunity to leave,” he said in a vitriolic speech which seemed to augur a further hardening of Spanish political life.

If the socialists and their far-left allies welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement, the Catalan independence party ERC, which is nevertheless one of his allies in Parliament, denounced “a comedy, a curtain of smoke”, through the voice of Catalan regional president Pere Aragonés.

Also read

  • Pedro Sánchez embroiled in corruption scandal

The investigation against the wife of Pedro Sánchez, 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 who said they were basing themselves on press articles, without knowing if this information was founded.

The prosecution requested the closure of this investigation, but the judge responsible for the file has not yet revealed his intentions.

Mr. Sánchez wants to see in the filing of this complaint a new illustration of a campaign of destabilization carried out against him by the right and the extreme right.

Since his arrival in power six years ago, the legitimacy of the socialist leader has always been questioned by the PP and the far-right formation Vox, who have never forgiven him for having been brought to power by the far left and the Basque parties and Catalans as part of a motion of censure against his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy, weighed down by a corruption scandal.

Political tensions

And the political context has become even more tense in recent months when Mr. Sánchez, arrived second in the July 23 elections behind Mr. Feijóo, nevertheless managed to be returned to power by Parliament in November thanks to the support of the Catalan independence parties, in exchange for a very controversial amnesty law for the separatists involved in the attempted secession of Catalonia in 2017.

This law, voted by deputies in March, should be definitively adopted at the end of May.

The investigation against the prime minister's wife is particularly focused, according to the online media El Confidencial, on the links established by Begoña Gómez with the Globalia group, which sponsored, according to this media, the foundation in which she worked, at the time when Air Europa, an airline belonging to Globalia, was negotiating with the Sánchez government to obtain public aid.

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

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