May 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez suspends his public duties while his wife faces investigation

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez suspends his public duties while his wife faces investigation

Image source, Reuters/Yves Herman

Comment on the photo, Pedro Sanchez posted a lengthy statement on X saying his wife Begonia Gomez will defend her honor (file photo)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has suspended his public duties to “pause and reflect” on whether to remain in office, after a court opened a preliminary investigation into his wife.

The Spanish leader said in a statement that he urgently needed to decide “whether I should continue to lead the government or give up this honour.”

The court said it was responding to corruption allegations against Begonia Gomez.

Mr. Sanchez said that his wife would defend her honor and work with the judiciary.

The complaint against Begonia Gomez was filed by anti-corruption activists Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), who have been involved in a number of high-profile court cases in recent years and are led by a man linked to the far right.

The Spanish Prime Minister said he will make a decision about his future in front of the media on Monday, April 29, after considering whether it is worth staying in office “despite the mud” the right and far-right are trying to turn politics into.

In a lengthy statement on X, Mr Sanchez complained of a months-long “strategy of harassment” aimed at weakening him politically and personally by targeting his wife.

The court did not provide details about the charges against Begonia Gomez, except to say that it began investigating allegations of influence peddling and corruption on April 16.

In particular, she referred to a “sponsorship agreement” involving the Globalia tourism group and an organization she ran in 2020 called IE Africa Centre. In 2020, Globalia secured a €475m (£407m) bailout for its airline Air Europe, as part of a series of government rescue packages for businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.

Spain's conservative Popular Party demanded clarifications in parliament earlier on Wednesday, and the prime minister simply said he believed in justice “in spite of everything.”

Spanish media said that he left Parliament heading to his residence in Madrid and appeared disturbed. Hours later, People's Party leader Alberto Nunez accused Viejo of working with the far-right Vox party to bring him down.

“I am not naive. I realize that they are condemning Begonia, not because she did anything illegal – they know there is no case – but because she is my wife,” he complained in his statement.

Political allies have expressed support for Sanchez, who has been in power since 2018, but his decision to suspend public duties comes at a tense time for his Socialist Party ahead of European Parliament elections in June and elections in Spain's northeastern Catalonia region. next month.

He was due to take part in the launch of the Catalonia campaign in Barcelona on Thursday.

Pedro Sanchez leads a strange coalition that includes two Catalan separatist parties, which were persuaded to join the government in exchange for an amnesty that includes the banned Catalan referendum on secession in 2017.

The pardon has angered opposition parties, and also means former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont will run in regional elections next month, seven years after he fled imminent arrest and went into exile in Belgium.

Mr. Puigdemont still faces a terrorism case but believes the pardon will enable him to return to Spain.