Spanish PM talks tough on party graft scandal



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Sunday 20 January 2013

Last update 20 January 2013 1:00 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MADRID: Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed yesterday he would “not flinch” in punishing corruption if any were revealed in his party, which was shaken this week by allegations against a former top official.
Rajoy moved to calm the controversy, which prompted angry demonstrations on Friday outside the offices of his conservative Popular Party (PP) and threatened to destabilize him as he grapples with an economic crisis.
“Today unfortunately our party is subject to controversy. I want to tell you all to be calm. The Popular Party has always acted with transparency and rigor when it has been called into question,” he told a party gathering in Almeria.
“If I ever hear of irregularities or improper conduct concerning members of our party, I will not flinch,” said Rajoy, who won power from the Socialists in a massive election victory in November 2011.
The center-right newspaper El Mundo reported Friday that senior members of the party, which Rajoy has led since 2004, had received undeclared salaries, mainly from private companies, over a 20-year period.
Citing unnamed former members of the PP leadership, the newspaper said the party’s former treasurer Luis Barcenas distributed envelopes containing thousands of euros to party officials on top of their official salaries.
El Mundo cited party sources saying that Rajoy never received such payments but that he ordered an end to the practice in 2009. That year Barcenas was implicated in another major corruption scandal and resigned as party treasurer. Rajoy warned the party yesterday its conduct must be “exemplary” and “honorable”, especially when Spaniards are suffering in a recession.
“We must be more exemplary in our conduct, if that is possible, because that is what people quite rightly expect,” he said yesterday in the televised gathering in the southern city.
“Many Spaniards are having a very hard time and we can only demand efforts and sacrifices of them if our compatriots can see that our behavior is beyond all suspicion. We must be honorable.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Saudi led-coalition fighting to reinstate Yemen’s exiled government aims first to set it up in Aden and then return it to Sanaa if possible via peace talks with Houthi foes, a coalition spokesman said.But if the Iranian-allied Houthis did...
RIYADH: Nine Omani Umrah pilgrims, on their way back home, were killed and 34 were injured, in a road accident which took place near Khurais, between Riyadh and Al-Ahsa province.According to police, the coach carrying the pilgrims collided with a tra...
JEDDAH: The Kingdom and Namibia have signed a protocol to establish diplomatic relations between them.According to SPA, the protocol was signed on Tuesday by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Abdullah Al-Mouallimi and his...
JEDDAH: Official reports reveal nationalization levels of medical and health workers in the Kingdom remain low, with Saudi nationals making up only 21.7 percent of physicians, 31.8 percent of nurses, and 67.4 percent of ancillary staff.According to t...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) will begin receiving clearance applications for medicines and medical supplies, including drugs containing narcotic or psychotropic substances, for Haj missions or other government bodies on Saturday....
JEDDAH: Saudi importers of cattle said the Haj season this year will not see an increase in the price of livestock due to the stability of the local market and the available supply.There are also guarantees from exporting countries that required quan...
JEDDAH: At the upcoming elections the national identity card will be the only approved document used for identifying voters of both genders and allowing voters to exercise their electoral right, provided all statutory requirements are met.In a press...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Azzam Al-Dakhil has spoken of a new education policy which emphasizes the importance of harmonizing admission policies in universities with the needs of the labor market.Al-Dakhil made these remarks during a meeting with un...
JEDDAH: Local bottled water consumption during the summer, Umrah and Haj seasons this year will increase by 10 percent.“This translates into an annual growth rate of between 4 percent and 5 percent,” Rashed Bin-Zouma, a water industry expert, was qu...
RIYADH: Four Saudi secondary students including a young woman from the Eastern Province have received prestigious medals at the 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which concluded in Azerbaijan last week.The winners of the four bronze medal...
JEDDAH: The UAE’s decision to lift fuel subsidies beginning in August has raised the possibility of other Gulf states following suit.Economists suggest a wide disparity of prices of gasoline in the Gulf countries will lead to more petrol smuggling op...
DAMMAM: The tourism industry in the Kingdom is witnessing great interest by authorities to develop the archaeological areas, promote their support services and create the best environment for tourism products, said businessman Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair....
JEDDAH: The ongoing World Circus at north Obhur has brought smiles on the faces of orphans, with its show of acrobats featuring 20 performers and clowns.The orphans of Al-Rawdah district charitable organization said they found the circus entertaining...
RIYADH: The Nepalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Udayaraj Pandey, thanked the Kingdom on Thursday as he ends his four-year tour of duty in Saudi Arabia.Earlier in the day, he called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to pay him a courtesy call a...
RIYADH: Movies produced by young and amateur Saudi filmmakers will be shown on Saudi Television starting in the middle of next week.“The films will be shown daily to encourage young Saudi filmmakers,” said Abdulaziz Fahad Al-Eid, senior broadcaster a...

Stay Connected

Facebook