Damaged by scandal, Spain PM holds on

2013-02-06 09:06
Graffiti reading, "Rajoy, thief" in Madrid, Spain. (Andres Kudacki, AP)

Graffiti reading, "Rajoy, thief" in Madrid, Spain. (Andres Kudacki, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Spain
    Take a trip to Spain with the ultimate guidebook. Now R444.00
    buy now

Madrid - Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will keep his job despite being named in a corruption scandal, but the affair leaves him weakened as he tries to steer Spain out of a deep economic crisis, analysts say.

Allegations that Rajoy received secret payments from his conservative Popular Party make it harder for him to justify his austere reforms such as cutting salaries and pensioners' spending power.

"There is a high political cost to pay, with a problem of legitimacy" raised by the scandal, said political scientist Anton Losada of Santiago de Compostela University.

"He cannot demand sacrifices and at the same time make money, especially if it is not legal," Losada said.

Speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Rajoy repeated his denial of the alleged payments.

He has resisted calls to resign by the opposition - and by angry demonstrators in the street - saying the allegations are groundless.

Damage to image

Many Spaniards are outraged by reports of corruption emerging as Rajoy's government imposes pay cuts and tax rises during a recession that has driven the jobless rate to 26%.

Now he must deal with the damage to his image at home and abroad.

The Spanish leader heads to a key summit with his European Union partners on Thursday and Friday to negotiate the EU budget.

"His position at the European summit is weaker now," said Ferran Requejo, a political scientist at Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University.

"An accusation of corruption in a governing party is a serious accusation."

The stakes of the summit are high for Rajoy: Press reports say Spain could get €20bn less in EU subsidies in 2014-2020.

Investor confidence rattled

"He is not going to be listened to the slightest bit by the European institutions," Requejo said.

"He is not an important player in Europe and will not be one as long as figures such as the Spanish unemployment rate do not get better."

The scandal appeared to rattle investors' confidence in Spain. The Madrid stock market plunged on Monday, with the Ibex-35 share index closing nearly four percent lower. It recovered much of this ground on Tuesday, however, rising 2.2%.

The leader of Spain's opposition Socialist Party, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, on Sunday called on Rajoy to step down over the corruption scandal.

An online petition for Rajoy to resign at change.org had received more than 900 000 signatures by Tuesday evening.

Despite all this, "the likelihood of Rajoy resigning is very small, if not zero", Requejo said.

Inside job

"However big the crisis, without a court case and convictions there are no political resignations in Spain."

Losada judged that the source of the scandal "clearly comes from inside the party", from members who consider Rajoy too soft on political issues such as the Catalonia region's push for independence.

"There is a part of the right-wing media, political and economic world that is active in the Popular Party and that has never liked Mariano Rajoy," Losada said.

At home, Rajoy benefits however from the unpopularity of the main opposition Socialist Party.

The Socialists are still mistrusted by voters for having been in charge when the worst of the economic crisis broke out in 2008.

A poll of voting intentions published on Sunday showed support for the Popular Party had fallen to 23.9%, but its decline had not helped the Socialists, who were even lower on 23.5%.

"Rajoy's future depends on his ability to prevent the party coming apart at the seams, and also on the health of the economy," Losada said.

"People are having a hard time" in the recession, but "if people start having a slightly less hard time, that will have a soothing effect".

- SAPA

Read more on:    mariano rajoy  |  spain
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Paarl - 06:58 AM
    Road name: N1 Eastbound
    STATIONARY TRUCK in the left lane before the R101 Main Road exit
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 06:56 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    DELAYS between Duinefontein Road and the M5 Highway Interchange
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

APARTMENTS / FLATS FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Apartments / Flats R 1 825 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.