SPAIN’S Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into whether former prime minister Mariano Rajoy skipped strict COVID-19 confinement rules to exercise.

State security forces will determine whether Rajoy failed to comply with the Royal Decree 463/2020 of March 14, which introduced the State of Alarm and prohibited outdoor exercise.

It comes after La Sexta published images of Rajoy walking down a street at a brisk pace near his home in Madrid.

The former Partido Popular leader can be seen dressed in a black tracksuit, raincoat and sports shoes.

Rajoy is well known for his love of walking and is pictured without a supermarket or pharmacy bag which would justify being outdoors.

According to reports from La Sexta, this isn’t the first time Rajoy has skipped confinement measures.

Rajoy Credit La Sexta
SCRUTINISED: Mariano Rajoy on the street, allegedly skipping confinement rules to exercise. Photo credit La Sexta

The latest images were taken this Sunday. However, according to residents, Rajoy has left his home in a similar manner on several occasions, angering some of the neighbours.

Spain’s Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska said on Tuesday that an investigation is underway to determine whether the former President of the Government has violated confinement rules.

The minister responded to a question at a press conference in La Moncloa, shortly after La Sexta published the images. “Investigations are being carried out to verify this,” said Marlaska.

The fines established for committing minor sanctions range from 100 to 600 euros.

This isn’t the first time the former Spanish Prime Minister has been at odds with the law.

At 14 years and 146 days, Rajoy was the longest-serving Spanish politician in Government since the country’s transition to democracy, but was forced out of office by a corruption scandal.

Rajoy’s no-confidence vote came after his party was implicated in a string of corruption scandals, culminating with case Gurtel, Spain’s biggest ever fraud case.

Rajoy’s alleged failure to comply with confinement measures mirrors another of Spain’s former Prime Ministers.

José María Aznar ignored the advice of government and health experts before the state of alarm was declared and left Madrid for Marbella, despite the capital being the main focus of contagion.

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