Spanish PM answers questions on corruption scandal in parliament
Spain’s prime minister challenged lawmakers to table a no confidence vote in his government as he answered questions over alleged illegal financing of his conservative People’s Party.
Mariano Rajoy defended his record on fighting corruption during testy exchanges with lawmakers at the hearing on Wednesday (August 30), called at a politically delicate time when he no longer has a majority in parliament. Allegations of a PP slush fund have plagued the party for years, though Rajoy himself is not accused of wrongdoing.
“You are a prime minister under suspicion,” Socialist party spokeswoman Margarita Robles told the special session, the first after the summer break.
Rajoy did not directly address the allegations about his party, saying he had already given explanations to parliament related to corruption cases on 52 occasions and two commissions had been set up to look into accusations.
Underlining his fragile position, the special session was called by the opposition and Rajoy only appeared after former political allies joined with left-wing parties to demand he answer questions.
Rajoy became the first sitting prime minister in Spain to give evidence in a trial in July where he denied all knowledge of a party slush fund.