Spanish PM considers resigning amid wife corruption allegations

FILE - Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses for a portrait after an interview with The Associated Press at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, June 27, 2022.
FILE - Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses for a portrait after an interview with The Associated Press at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, June 27, 2022. Copyright Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Bernat Armangue/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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Spain's socialist leader has denied claims by a right-wing platform his wife used her position to influence business deals.

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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has said he will consider resigning after his wife was accused of corruption. 

A judicial investigation was launched on Wednesday into accusations by a right-wing legal platform that she used her position to influence business deals.

The socialist leader has denied the allegations as false.  

In a letter posted on X, Sánchez said he is cancelling his public agenda until Monday when he will announce whether he will continue or step down.

“I need to stop and reflect,” Sánchez wrote. “I must answer the question if it is worth it to continue, given the mud pit the right and far right have made out of our politics, if I must continue at the helm of the government or renounce that highest of honours.”

The 52-year-old has been Spain’s prime minister since 2018. He was able to form a new left-wing coalition government in November to start another four-year term. 

He is one of Europe’s longest-serving Socialist leaders.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Spanish judge agreed to probe allegations of corruption made by a private group with a history of filing lawsuits mainly for right-wing causes. 

FILE - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his wife Begona Gomez arrive at 10 Downing Street in London, Dec. 3, 2019.
FILE - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his wife Begona Gomez arrive at 10 Downing Street in London, Dec. 3, 2019.Alastair Grant/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved

The court based in Madrid will consider the allegations and proceed with the investigation or toss it out.

“Begoña will defend her honour and collaborate with the justice system in every way that is required to clarify that these facts that appear scandalous are in fact nonexistent,” Sánchez said.

His 49-year-old wife does not hold public office and maintains a low political profile.

The court did not provide further information and said that the probe was under seal.

Justice Minister Félix Bolaños called the allegations “false."

Second Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz, the leader of the junior member of Sánchez’s government, publicly backed him against “this offensive by the right.”

The possibility of a governmental crisis comes just weeks before important regional elections in Catalonia followed by European elections in June.

'I am a man who is deeply in love with my wife'

Sánchez accused online news sites politically aligned with the leading opposition conservative Popular Party and the far-right Vox party of spreading what he called “spurious” allegations that he said led to the judicial probe.

The Popular Party criticized Sánchez for “playing the role of the victim instead of holding himself accountable.”

Last month, Spain’s government watchdog for conflict of interests tossed out a complaint made by the Popular Party against Sánchez whereby the opposition party claimed that Gómez had allegedly influenced her husband in a decision related to an airline.

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Spain’s leader said that he was moved in part to reflect on his future due to his love for his wife.

“This attack is without precedent, it is so serious and coarse that I need to stop and reflect with my wife,” he said. “Most of the time we forget that politicians are people. And I do not blush to say it, but I am a man who is deeply in love with my wife, who is living with the feeling of impotence while being pelted with mud.”

“To summarise, this is an operation to harass me by land, sea and air to try and make me give up politics through a personal attack on my wife,” Sánchez wrote.

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