PRIME Minister Mariano Rajoy has apologised for the first time for his party members’ involvement in Spain’s widespread corruption scandals.
Following the arrest of 51 politicians, bankers and construction workers yesterday – many of which were PP politicians – Rajoy has further pledged to do more to sweep corruption out of Spanish politics.
Despite almost continual judicial investigations against party members for the three years since the PP came to power, this is the first time the prime minister has explicitly apologised.
“I apologise in the name of the PP to all Spaniards for having appointed people to positions who weren’t worthy of them and who seem to have taken advantage of them,” Rajoy told Spain’s upper parliamentary house, the Senate.
“We are going to continue increasing the range of anti-corruption measures until we ensure that anyone in a public post in this country thinks twice before being tempted to become corrupt.”
The apology comes just the day after 51 people were arrested over alleged payments-for-favours schemes, to secure public contracts.
Several PP mayors and Francisco Granados, former deputy president of the Madrid region under Esperanza Aguirre, were among those arrested.
Granados stepped down in February when it was revealed he had millions of euros stashed in a Swiss bank account.