Spain’s opposition Popular Party has been hit by allegations of corruption in its ranks. A court is investigating charges that a number of senior party members received expensive gifts from businessman Francisco Correa, nicknamed ‘Don Vito’ after “The Godfather” films. The gifts allegedly included new cars, expensive suits and cash for politicians. Correa is charged with eliciting favours for contracts to organise PP events, and a Madrid judge has lifted a secrecy order on 17,000 pages of evidence.
In an effort to stem the political bloodshed, PP leader Mariano Rajoy pledged to clean up the party. “The Popular Party will act and demand accountability,” he said. Correa rose to prominence as an organizer of PP events when former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar led the party. Investigators estimate that 17 politicians received a total of more than five million euros in the affair. During the long running investigation seven senior party officials have resigned.