Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

DEBATE

Libya unrest: National Assembly asks for UN help to dissolve militias

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

Europe

Spanish PM Rajoy rejects corruption allegations

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-03

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday denied allegations that he and other leaders of his party had received secret payments from business leaders via a slush fund. Spain is currently enduring an unprecedented economic crisis.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy strongly denied on Saturday allegations in the media that he and other leaders of his centre-right People’s Party had for years received payments out of a secret slush fund.

“I need only two words: it’s false,” Rajoy said in a televised address after an extraordinary meeting of party leaders to discuss the allegations.

Rajoy welcomed a full investigation into the affair and said that the party would be fully transparent and that he would publish on the internet all of his tax declarations to clear up the scandal.

Last week El Pais newspaper published extracts from what it said were ledgers maintained by party treasurers to register cash contributions from business leaders that were then distributed to party leaders.

“It is not true that we (in this party) received cash that we hid from tax officials,” Rajoy said in the brief speech. He did not take questions from the media.

Dozens of police in riot gear guarded PP headquarters in central Madrid on Saturday, cutting off neighboring streets. A small gathering of demonstrators shouted “resign” outside the building after several hundred people protested there on Thursday and Friday nights.

The growing scandal over alleged cash payments to People’s Party leaders from a slush fund fed by construction industry executives has damaged Rajoy’s credibility during a profound economic crisis in Spain.

Both right-leaning El Mundo newspaper and left-leaning El Pais have reported details of the scandal, citing sources within the PP and copies of the alleged secret accounts kept by party treasurers.

Rajoy, 57, has asked Spaniards for sacrifices as he slashes spending to trim a dangerously high public deficit that last year threatened to bankrupt the state and force him to seek a humiliating international bailout.

His popularity has plummeted during his 13 months in office as his austerity measures aggravate a deep recession and 26 percent unemployment.

The PP has an absolute majority in Parliament and so far the party has not shown signs of a split that would allow opponents to carry a vote of no confidence.

The PP has already said it will commission an external audit of its accounts.

The anti-corruption prosecutor’s office said on Friday it is investigating the alleged payments. If the prosecutor finds evidence of a crime he will make a report to Spain’s High Court, which will then decide whether it opens a judicial investigation, the first step to a possible criminal trial.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-02-02

  • SPAIN

    PM hints at possible bailout for Spain

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    Spain’s conservative party sweeps to victory

    Read more

  • SPAIN

    Can Mariano Rajoy ease Spain’s pain?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)