‘Very atypical’: Why is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez considering resigning? | News

Madrid, Spain – Spain is waiting with bated breath to see if Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez resigns over a corruption scandal involving his wife.

The nation was stunned when Sanchez announced on Wednesday that he would retire from public life for five days while he considered whether to continue leading the government.

“We urgently need an answer to the question whether it is worth it to lead the government or give up this honor,” he wrote in a letter shared on his account on X.

Sanchez is expected to announce his decision on Monday.

He could either resign, remain in post or seek a vote of confidence from parliament.

“Why does Mr. Sánchez have to resign over this? It should be the courts, not the media, that decide whether he did something wrong,” said Begona Tamarit, 52, a marketing executive from Madrid. ) told NDMT.

“Who would replace Sanchez in this country? He’s the only adult in a country full of very mediocre politicians.”

But Sergio Garcia, 39, a bartender in Barcelona, ​​said Sanchez should go.

“He is the prime minister and he should lead by example. He must resign. No one is above the law in this country, especially the prime minister,” he said.

As the Spanish public struggles to understand Sánchez’s surprising move, some commentators say it may be a clever way to gain a media advantage over conservative opposition parties and the far-right and their allies. He said no.

But other analysts say Mr. Sánchez is worn down not only by the accusations against his wife, Begona Gómez, but also by the pressure of leading a minority left-wing coalition that has failed to pass this year’s budget and is struggling to pass legislation. He suggested that this may be the case. Patchwork of small parties.

The crisis began on Wednesday when a Madrid court announced it was opening a preliminary investigation into allegations of influence and corruption against Gomez, who has not commented.

Gomez, 49, a marketing graduate, married Sanchez in 2006 and works in academia and marketing.

Although she has stayed away from the public eye, she has supported her husband throughout his political career.

“We’re a team, and we’re rowing in the same direction as a team,” she said in a 2016 television interview.

The accusations against her were made by Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), a group that describes itself as a trade union but primarily brings cases related to right-wing causes.

Notably, King Felipe VI’s former brother-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, was implicated in a 2017 case in which he was convicted of corruption.

In his bid against Gomez, Manos Limpias launched a “popular prosecution.” This is a feature of Spanish law that allows individuals to participate in certain criminal cases even if they have no direct connection to the defendant.

Reputable online news site El Confidential reported that investigators were looking into Gomez’s relationships with several private companies that received government funding or received public contracts.

The site reported that an investigation is underway into the relationship between Gomez, who does not hold any public office and maintains a low profile, and the Spanish tourism group Globalia, which owns Spanish airline Air Europa. Ta.

Gomez is said to have met Javier Hidalgo, the company’s CEO, while the company was negotiating with the government to secure a bailout package after the pandemic hit.

On Thursday, state prosecutors asked a Madrid court to drop the charges against Gomez, but did not say why.

The judge can pursue the case or dismiss it.

“Very atypical behavior”

The Spanish leader accused Manos Limpias and his right-wing party of launching a smear campaign against him and his wife, but he maintains his innocence.

“This attack is unprecedented, so severe and so brutal that I need to pause and reflect with my wife,” he wrote in a four-page letter published in X.

“Most of the time, we forget that politicians are people. And, not to blush, I am a man who loves his wife deeply, and while being smeared with mud, I feel helpless.” I’m alive.

“In short, this is a campaign of harassment from land, sea and air to try to get me to give up politics through personal attacks on my wife.”

Astrid Barrio López, a political scientist at the University of Valencia, does not think Sanchez will resign.

“This is a very atypical action and irresponsible because we have been left without a leader for many days. It is not good for the stability of the country,” she told NDMT. “Sanchez’s letter seems like he intends to resign, but it seems very strange for a politician like him to resign. I think what he wants to do is strengthen his position.”

He added: “We know that he is a very pragmatic person and that he is going to use this position to his own advantage. I think I want to portray him as a person.”

Sanchez, whose appearance earned him the nickname El Guapo (The Handsome One), is known for his shrewd political moves that quickly ensnare opponents.

Last May, the Socialist Party called for a snap general election after suffering a crushing defeat in local elections.

In 2018, he came to power after successfully holding the first vote of confidence since the return to democracy, ousting conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy following a series of corruption scandals.

Sanchez published a book about this experience, Manual of Resistance, in which he wrote:

The crisis comes ahead of important regional elections in Catalonia on May 12 and European Parliament elections in June. An opinion poll released Thursday by the Center for Sociological Research suggested that his Socialist Party could win the most votes in Catalonia, ending the dominance of separatist parties.

Socialist party leaders have rallied behind Sanchez, while opposition Popular Party leader Alberto Núñez Feijó said the prime minister was “a teenager so strong that people begged him not to go and not to be upset.” “You can’t throw a tantrum,” he said.

Alfonso López Sánchez, a political commentator with lobbying group Letiespana, said Sánchez’s decision could be motivated by fatigue with the country’s difficult politics.

“At the moment no one knows what Sanchez wants to do. We did not consult the Socialist Party or the King of Spain before making this announcement,” he said in an interview with NDMT.

“Perhaps there was some kind of fatigue, or perhaps he was fed up with what happened to his wife, which led him to make decisions that are unprecedented in Western democracies.”

Mr. López suggested that Mr. Sánchez may be dissatisfied with the fact that he is leading a minority coalition consisting of the Socialist Party and the far-left Smar party, which has failed to pass a budget bill.

The Socialist government also faced strong criticism for passing a controversial amnesty law for Catalan separatists accused of failing to bid for independence in 2017 in exchange for aid to prop up the government.

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