Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is facing calls to resign as the secret payments scandal enrages citizens struggling with high unemployment and harsh austerity measures.
The renewed calls for Rajoy to quit came after a Spanish newspaper published text messages that allegedly link the Prime Minister to the man at the heart of the scandal, Luis Barcenas the former treasurer of the ruling Popular Party.
The report published in the El Mundo newspaper shows that Rajoy gave Barcenas support. The ex treasurer is in custody and facing trial for tax fraud and corruption. He denies the allegations.
The opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) has called for ‘the immediate resignation’ of the Prime Minister and announced that it would break off all relationships with the Popular Party.
At a press conference, opposition leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said that Spain was going through an “unbearable political situation” after further evidence emerged on Sunday suggesting that Rajoy remained in close contact with the PP’s former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, despite a number of allegations of internal corruption already having emerged.
“Mr Rajoy is incapable of continuing another minute as head of the government of Spain. His continued presence only contributes to the incalculable harm that has been done to this country. The seriousness of the situation puts us at a point of no return. So that is why the Socialist Party demands the immediate resignation of Mr Rajoy as Prime Minister” said opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.
Another opposition party the United Left coalition called for early elections.
Barcenas revealed to the El Mundo paper that he ran two separate accounting systems for the Popular Party and paid out large sums of cash to party officials on top of their regular salaries. Rajoy has been implicated as having received some of these payments.
The political uncertainty in Spain and the ongoing volatility in Portugal have weighed on the Euro.
Euro Exchange Rates (as of 12:15 pm GMT)
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The Pound is trading against the Euro in the region of 1.1554
The US Dollar is trading against the Euro in the region of 0.7663
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