Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez refuses to resign, vows to step up fight against “unfounded attacks”

Public TV English
Public TV English
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MADRID: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said he will not tender his resignation and step up his fight against “unfounded attacks”, CNN reported. His remarks came five days after cancelling his public duty to “reflect” on whether to continue in the job after the Spanish court opened an investigation against his wife, Begona Gomez.

Sanchez announced his decision in a TV address from his official compound in Madrid on Monday. His remarks come after a corruption complaint against his wife Begona Gomez brought by Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), an organisation with a connection to the far-right.

He announced, “I have decided to continue, with more force if possible, as the head of the Spanish government”. The Spanish PM said he would step up in his fight against “unfounded” attacks, like the one against his wife, which he has previously blamed on conservative and far-right forces, CNN reported.

Pedro Sanchez said, “I act on clear conviction. Or we say enough of this degradation or it will condemn us as a nation.” He further said, “This is not an ideological question. It’s a question of dignity and defines us as a society”. He said, “My wife and I know this campaign (against us) will not stop”, and added that it has been going on for 10 years. He expressed gratitude to his Spanish Socialist Party members for their support.

His decision on Monday came after the Madrid regional Superior Court of Justice initiated an investigation against Gomez “for alleged influence peddling and business corruption” following Manos Limpias’ complaint. The reports regarding the investigation surfaced on April 24 and Sanchez announced that he had suspended his public duties until Monday to “stop and reflect” on whether he should continue leading the government, CNN reported.

In a post on X, Sanchez stated that the Clean Hands complaint seemed to be based on “alleged information” published by what he called some “right and far-right” digital media.

On April 25, prosecutors presented an appeal to the judge against the investigation and requested him to shelve the case, according to the Spanish Attorney General’s press office. On the same day, Manos Limpias admitted that it had relied on press reports for its court complaint. In a statement, the group said, “It will be up to the judge to determine if that journalistic information is true or not”.

Spanish prosecution source said that the prosecution did not find indications of a crime that would justify launching an investigation against Gomez, CNN reported.

On Friday, another group related to conservative causes, Hazte Oir (Make Yourself Heard) made public its complaint to the same court against Gomez, and mentioned only alleged “influence peddling” against her.

In a post on X, Salvador Illa, who was health minister under Sanchez during the Covid-19 pandemic and now is the Socialist Party candidate running for president of the Catalan region, called the Spanish PM’s decision to remain in office “a brave decision to recover the dignity of politics and a commitment to stop those who try to undermine our democracy”.

Meanwhile, the main conservative opposition Popular Party leader, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, said, “This crisis didn’t start last Wednesday nor does it end today. This is part of various years of embarrassment. Above all, the months of this current legislature, which has been backsliding in stability”. (ANI)

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