A corruption investigation into Spain’s conservative opposition party has widened, with the possible involvement of national politicians.
Judge Baltasar Garzon has so far implicated only local Popular Party members, but has now indicated that nationally-elected figures may be questioned. Spanish media reports say the party’s treasurer Luis Barcena is among them. The conservatives say it is a witch-hunt. “Justice must be impartial, and must be seen to be impartial,” said Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy. “Things have happened during the regional election campaign which no-one wants to see.” The Popular Party has also accused Garzon of colluding with the governing Socialists and of being corrupt himself. Earlier this week, the Socialist Justice Minister was forced to resign after going on a hunting trip with the judge. “It is surprising: instead of hunting down say, burglars, the Popular Party wants to have a go at the police,” said Socialist Party deputy-secretary Jose Blanco. Among those arrested is Francisco Correa, who is close to former Popular Party Prime Minister Jose-Maria Aznar, and who is said to be linked to shadowy building contracts in Madrid and Valencia. The PP says the affair is simply designed to damage their chances in upcoming elections in the Basque Country and Galicia.