Why Spain's Prime Minister Is So Terrified Of His Government's New Corruption Scandal

Mariano Rajoy

Photo: flickr / Partido Popular de Cantabria

Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy was in Berlin today, meeting with his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, for bilateral economic talks. However, at a press conference, Rajoy was forced to talk about something else entirely.”The things that are attributed to me are false. I can say it again today,” Rajoy said, according to a report at CNN.

Rajoy was being put on the spot about documents published last week in El Pais that appear to show his party receiving a large amount of “secret” donations.

The Spanish newspaper reportedly found a secret accounting system created treasurer Luis Bárcenas, who is under investigation for allegedly having €22 million ($30 million) in a Swiss bank account.

El Pais has not only uploaded photos of the (allegedly) secret documents, but they’ve put them in a searchable database. Try searching for Rajoy’s name and you get 10 results:

Mariano Rajoy El Pais

Photo: El Pais Screenshot

In total, Rajoy is alleged to have received €250,000 ($340,000) that had been hidden from tax authorities.

Rajoy and his government are keen to end the scandal — Rajoy gave a press conference this weekend (though his decision to appear via videolink made turned that into a disaster) and today his party, the People’s Party, is reported to be readying legal documents against El Pais and others.

Even with that response, this looks bad for Rajoy. In a country is currently suffering from one of the worst unemployment rates in Europe, any sign of corruption like this is bound to make people very angry. The AP reports that riot police had to be called out to the streets of Madrid on Saturday.

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