With new details surfacing concerning alleged payoffs the Popular Party leadership received from a secret slush fund, Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba on Sunday called for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s resignation saying that he “isn’t fit to govern the country at such a delicate time.”
"His presence as head of government will only serve to aggravate the current political crisis. We are asking that he step down as prime minister and open the way for another prime minister who can re-establish the trust, security and stability that Spain needs at this time,” Rubalcaba said.
Not since the 1990s, when then-PP leader José María Aznar demanded that Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González, whose government was racked by corruption scandals, step down, has an opposition leader called on a prime minister to resign. Rubalcaba didn’t explain if the Socialists will push for early elections or present a censure motion in Congress.
With the country rocked by allegations of payoffs that PP leaders, including Rajoy, got money aside from their official salaries for 18 years, tensions among the political and social sectors have increased over the past days.
On Saturday, Rajoy spoke for the first time about the accounting information contained in a set of ledgers prepared by his former party treasurer Luis Bárcenas and published by EL PAÍS. Rajoy called the information “false” and vowed to stay on as prime minister.
Answering Rubalcaba’s call, PP deputy secretary general Esteban González Pons accused the Socialist leader of “taking advantage of the situation” and provoking “street agitation.”