Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he is considering resigning after announcing an investigation into his wife for corruption

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Wednesday April 24, in a letter published on the social network corruption

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he is considering resigning after announcing an investigation into his wife for corruption

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Wednesday April 24, in a letter published on the social network corruption. “I need to stop and think” in order to decide “whether I should continue to be head of government or whether I should renounce this honor,” he wrote, indicating that he would announce its decision Monday to the press and suspend its public activities until then.

This preliminary investigation "against Begoña Gómez", relating to "alleged crimes of influence peddling and corruption", was opened on April 16 after a complaint from the association "Manos limpias" (Clean Hands), announced Wednesday in a short press release the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid. It is placed under the seal of “investigation secrecy”, added the court.

In his letter, Pedro Sánchez, in power since 2018, denounces a complaint based on “non-existent” facts and a campaign of “harassment” led by “ultraconservative” media and supported, according to him, by the right-wing opposition and extreme right against his wife. “I am not naive,” he says, “I am aware of the fact that they are filing a complaint against Begoña, not because she has done something illegal, because they know well that it is not true, but because she is my wife.”

According to the online media El Confidencial, which revealed the information, this investigation focuses in particular on the links of Begoña Gómez with the Spanish tourism group Globalia, owner of the airline Air Europa, at a time when the latter was in talks with the government to obtain aid in the face of the heavy drop in air traffic caused by the Covid pandemic.

At the time, Begoña Gomez headed IE Africa Center, a foundation linked to the Madrid business school IE University, a position she left in 2022. According to El Confidencial, IE Africa Center had “signed a sponsorship agreement with Globalia in 2020” and Begoña Gomez allegedly participated in “a private meeting with its CEO Javier Hidalgo at the time Globalia was negotiating its multi-million euro bailout plan with the government” of Pedro Sánchez.

This plan allowed Air Europa to receive 475 million euros in November 2020, from a 10 billion fund intended to support strategic companies in difficulty due to the health crisis. The Spanish company was the first company to benefit from this fund. Dozens of others followed, including several of its competitors (Iberia, Vueling, Volotea...).

“Everything will eventually be known.”

The right-wing opposition on Wednesday called on the Prime Minister to “give explanations to the Spaniards”, through Ester Muñoz, member of the leadership of the Popular Party (PP, right). “Everything will eventually become known,” warned a party spokesperson, Borja Semper.

Since the first press revelations on this affair, the PP has continued to attack the Prime Minister and his wife. “Pedro Sánchez wants to appear calm, but he is very nervous,” assured the leader of this formation, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, at the end of March. Questioned in Parliament on Wednesday, Pedro Sánchez assured that he had confidence in justice. “A day like today, after the news I heard, despite everything, I still believe in the justice of my country,” he assured.

Manos limpias, a collective founded in 1995, has been at the origin of several legal proceedings in recent years and has become a civil party in numerous trials for corruption cases. It is considered close to the extreme right, notably due to the personality of its founder Miguel Bernad, former leader of the Frente Nacional party, dissolved in 1993.

Accused of being involved in an extortion network, the latter was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2021, but was finally acquitted on appeal last month, for lack of evidence according to the court.