A corruption scandal which has plagued Spain’s People’s Party for months has intensified after revelations by the former party treasurer.
Luis Barcenas claims that the party has been financed illegally for the last 20 years, taking payments from property firms and other companies. Now there are documents to show the scandal goes as high as the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.
The documents published in the newspaper El Mundo show the name of Mariano Rajoy and two payments of 12,600 euros. El Mundo has handed them over to the High Court to be investigated.
The ledger was reportedly operated by former party treasurer Luis Barcenas, who is in custody facing trial for corruption and tax fraud. He has denied the allegations but did admit the handwriting was his.
The revelations prompted street demonstrations, calling for Rajoy to resign. One woman said: “The People’s Party is synonymous with corruption in all Spanish institutions. For this reason we want an immediate resignation and we call for new general elections as soon as possible”.
In Madrid’s corridors of power, ministers in the People’s Party were defending the PM against calls for resignation. The Spanish agriculture minister, Miguel Arias Cañete, told reporters he absolutedly supported Rajoy.
Spanish newspapers spoke of nothing else. The front page of El Pais declared ‘Barcenas targets Rajoy’ while ABC’s headline read ‘Barcenas put pressure on People’s Party mayors to sign contracts’.