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Spanish corruption scandal fuels new protests


Pressure is growing on Spain’s Tory prime minister Mariano Rajoy to resign along with leading members of his cabinet.

They face allegations of corruption.

Spain’s El Pais newspaper published documents last Thursday that appear to show secret illegal payments to members of Rajoy’s party, the PP.

These date back to the 1990s.

Rajoy himself appears repeatedly in the “hidden accounts”, which are believed to have been written by the party’s former treasurer Luis Barcenas.

Barcenas resigned in 2009 over a separate corruption scandal.

An investigation revealed last month that he had a Swiss bank account containing almost £19 million.

The PP denies the allegations. But few are convinced.

A petition calling for the party leadership to resign was set up on the day of the revelations.

It had close to 900,000 signatures as Socialist Worker went to press.

Protesters surrounded PP offices across the Spanish state on Friday of last week.

In Barcelona 2,000 took to the streets followed by a mass assembly of activists.

This week, even the timid Socialist Party opposition has joined the calls.

On Monday the markets turned against the Spanish government.

The cost of borrowing jumped to its highest level since last year.

A new opinion poll shows that the two main parties now have less than 50 percent support between them.

Activist groups have led struggles to defend health, education and other services at a local level.

They have now called for united action against cuts and for democracy on 23 February.

That’s the same week as the Greek general strike and the Italian general election.

Little wonder that leading bankers fear that the recent period of calm in the eurozone may soon be coming to an end.


Article information

International
Tue 5 Feb 2013, 17:08 GMT
Issue No. 2339
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