In a lengthy interview conducted with EL PAÍS on Friday, opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba stated that Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “will not be able to govern the country without explaining his role in the Bárcenas case in Congress.”
Rubalcaba is expected this week to present a censure motion against Rajoy, should the ruling Popular Party (PP) continue to block congressional attempts to force the prime minister into explaining his handling of the Bárcenas affair.
The PP’s ex-treasurer Luis Bárcenas is being held in preventive custody, having become embroiled in a court case that not only involves millions of euros that he allegedly squirreled away in offshore bank accounts, but also the alleged illegal financing of the party over a number of years. Rajoy, along with other party bigwigs, is accused of having accepted cash payments from the party that were not declared to the taxman, according to ledgers that were first published by EL PAÍS in January.
If the censure motion succeeds, it would mark just the third time in the history of Spanish democracy that such a move has been made, which reflects the gravity of the current political crisis engulfing the PP.
In the interview, a full version of which will be published in EL PAÍS English Edition on Tuesday, Rubalcaba states unequivocally that he believes the Popular Party has been illegally financing itself through irregular payments from Spanish firms.
“I think that if the PP wants Spain and Spaniards to simply digest this matter and forget about it, then they have got it very wrong,” the Socialist leader told EL PAÍS. “It is impossible to maintain a relationship with a government that refuses to speak in parliament about what has happened.”