Spain’s Rajoy refuses to resign as graft scandal unfolds

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After refusing for weeks to comment on allegations linking the Spanish government with illegal payments and secret financing, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy broke his silence on Monday and rejected calls for his resignation by the opposition parties.

Speaking at a news conference in Madrid with visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Rajoy said that he will ‘fulfill his mandate to defend the political stability in the country’.

‘A democratic state based on the rule of law does not accept blackmail’.

‘Two of the most important pillars of Spanish politics right now are the reforms programme we are currently undertaking and the political stability of the country. As Spain’s Prime Minister, I will not allow either of those two pillars to be harmed’, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.

The corruption scandal came to light earlier this year, after a Spanish daily published claims that the former ruling party treasurer Luis Barcenas had been running a slush fund for 20 years.

The fund included donations from construction businessmen that were distributed to party leaders in exchange for lucrative public contracts.

When asked if the European Commission has concerns about the political and economic stability in Spain, the Commission’s spokesperson refused to comment.

The Popular Party has repeatedly denied the allegations of secret financing.

However, Barcenas, who is currently in custody, handed documents over to the court on Monday containing 19 years of accounts from a slush fund.

The corruption allegations have strongly angered Spain, a country in recession and unemployment rate of 27%.

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