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Will the Spanish Prime Minister resign? – POLICY

Sánchez has spent the last five days isolated, pondering his future. Supporters and opponents alike are now awaiting a decision that could radically alter Spain’s political landscape and have a significant impact on the distribution of the EU’s top jobs after June’s European Parliament elections.

Quedate, Pedro!

Sánchez’s announcement last Wednesday was prompted by news that a Madrid judge had opened a preliminary investigation into corruption and influence peddling focused on Begoña Gómez, the prime minister’s wife. The investigation was launched in response to a lawsuit filed by Manos Limpias – or “Clean Hands” – a group linked to the far-right that regularly uses the courts to target people or groups linked to progressive causes.

The suit appears baseless: Prosecutors last week recommended dismissal of the criminal complaint, and even Manos Limpias admits his suit could be based on “fake news.” But the decision of the judiciary to open a preliminary investigation against Gómez, despite the weakness of the evidence against her, seems to have been too much for Sánchez.

Sánchez’s departure would also likely impact key European Council meetings aimed at choosing new leaders of EU institutions. | Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images

The prime minister’s reaction can be understood given the personal attacks that have been launched against him and his family since he burst onto the Spanish political scene a decade ago. In recent years, the center-right Popular Party has called Sánchez a usurper, a sympathizer of terrorism and a traitor. The conservative opposition also helped spread malicious rumors that his wife is actually a man and that his family are drug dealers who operate a network of sex clubs.

The intensity of the pressure to which Sánchez and his family have been subjected was highlighted by Spanish media on Friday, when several publications published recordings of a 2014 meeting between the former secretary of state for security, the center-right politician Francisco Martínez, and José Manuel Villarejo. The latter, a disgraced police inspector, is suspected of being at the center of a powerful apparatus which worked to tarnish the reputation of politicians, senior judges and even members of the monarchy.

In the recording, the men discuss their plans to “politically kill” Sánchez by attacking his wife’s family and suggesting they are involved in illicit affairs. Later, Villarejo discusses the use of legal tactics – launching baseless lawsuits to harass and discredit political opponents – and mentions Manos Limpias as a group he collaborates with.


Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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