Spain: Graft Claims Hound Rajoy’s Party, Raise Chance of Spain Vote

Author(s): Esteban Duarte| Date: April 20, 2017 | Language: English
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New graft claims swirling around Spain’s ruling People’s Party threaten to make it harder for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to build the support he needs to govern and may bring an election closer.
Ignacio Gonzalez, a former PP head of the Madrid regional government, was arrested Wednesday as part of a probe into the finances of the Canal de Isabel II water company, police said. Rajoy himself was ordered on Tuesday to testify as a witness in a corruption trial of former party officials who are accused of funneling millions of euros in kickbacks through secret offshore accounts.
As the head of a minority government, Rajoy needs the support of deputies from the liberals of Ciudadanos and the socialists to pass legislation, including a budget. Even though corruption claims against PP party officials are nothing new, the fresh welter of allegations may make it harder for him to muster the support he needs to govern and potentially make new elections more likely, said Pablo Simon, a political science professor at Carlos III University in Madrid.