25 Apr, 2024 @ 12:42
2 mins read

Pedro Sanchez latest: PP leader accuses the PM of ‘playing the victim’ while Pablo Iglesias says he ‘knows what it’s like to see your partner cry’ as a result of the job

Figures across Spain's political spectrum have reacted to the PM's shock announcement

ALBERTO Nuñez Feijoo, the leader of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), has accused Pedro Sanchez of a ‘dereliction of duty’ after Spain’s Prime Minister announced he was considering his position as leader of the country just hours after his wife was plunged into a corruption scandal.

Sanchez, leader of the socialist PSOE party and Spain’s PM since 2018, revealed in an open letter addressed to ‘citizens’ on Wednesday evening that he was suspending his public duties until Monday to ‘stop and reflect’ on whether he wanted to continue in his role.

READ MORE: READ IN ENGLISH: Pedro Sanchez’s FURIOUS letter revealing why he may quit as PM of Spain on Monday

Conservative leader Alberto Feijoo calls for English to be prioritised in schools across Spain
Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the PP leader, accused Sanchez of ‘slander and defamation’. Credit: Cordon Press

The shock announcement came just hours after a Spanish court said it was filing a case against Sanchez’s wife, Begoña Gomez, accused of alleged ‘influence peddling’.  

In the letter, Sanchez claimed that the accusations were ‘baseless’ and formed part of a personal smear campaign from the ‘right and far-right’ who had sought to delegitimise his coalition government.  

Reacting to the surprise statement, Feijoo, 62, accused Sanchez of ‘further polarising politics’ by ‘playing the victim card’ as a ‘strategy to mobilise the electorate’ ahead of next month’s Catalan elections. 

The PP leader claimed that Sanchez’s move was ‘unprecedented’ and ‘improper for a Prime Minister’.

He added that he believes Sanchez will announce on Monday that he will continue as Prime Minister, stating he will do it to ‘stop the right-wing and far-right and for the responsibility of leading the government’. 

READ MORE: Madrid president Isabel Ayuso is in hot water after her partner admits to tax fraud and offers to pay €520,000 in fines

Isabel Diaz Ayuso and Enrique Ossorio
The PSOE have accused the PP of hypocrisy as a corruption scandal also engulfs the partner of key party figure and Madrid president, Isabel Diaz Ayuso. Credit: Cordon Press

Feijoo also accused Sanchez’s socialist PSOE party of ‘directly and indirectly attacking’ the partner of the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, after Spanish media reported that Alberto Gonzales had accepted tax fraud allegations and wanted to negotiate an eight-month prison sentence and a €520,000 fine.

Javier Maroto, a PP senator, said: “The umpteenth pirouette by Sanchez. And a pre-campaign act, as always, victimising himself: he is the good, the others the evil. Of course he wants to stay in La Moncloa. At any cost. And at any cost. It’s the Pedro Sanchez brand. On Monday we will all see for ourselves”. 

Santiago Abascal, leader of far-right Vox, said on X: “We do not know if this is another of his propaganda maneuvers to present himself as a poor victim, and thus silence the anger of the majority of the Spanish people. But what we do know, and we will never forget, is that he is the president who achieved the inauguration with the greatest act of political corruption ever seen, providing amnesty for criminals in exchange for votes”.

READ MORE: Is Spain heading for another general election? This is what happens if Pedro Sanchez resigns on Monday

Pablo Iglesias, the former vice-president of the Spanish government and ex-leader of the left-wing Podemos party, expressed sympathy with Sanchez, stating that ‘I know what it is like to see your partner crying because others are attacking you’. 

Iglesias described the legal proceedings as another example of ‘lawfare’, adding ‘we will always express solidarity, but lawfare is not just a negative when it is against the PSOE and Pedro Sanchez, it also is when against Podemos, against pro-independence figures’.

READ MORE: ‘I’m a little nervous’: Ex-darling of the left in Spain Pablo Iglesias prepares to open a bar in Madrid after leaving the world of politics

Pablo Iglesias
Former darling of the left, Pablo Iglesias, expressed personal sympathy with Sanchez’s position. Credit: Cordon Press

He added: “Pedro will now understand the meaning of the poem by a German protestant priest who said that ‘first the Nazis came for the Communists, but because we weren’t communist I did nothing. Now they come for me and it is too late’. I think the PM should have said something about political persecution when we were its victims”. 

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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