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Spain PM vows to fight on in face of corruption scandal

Published on Feb 5, 2013 6:03 AM
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy addresses a news conference following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin February 4, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday dismissed calls for his resignation over a case of alleged corruption in which he is implicated, saying he has the same determination to tackle Spain's economic crisis as when he took office.

Leading centre-left newspaper El Pais on Thursday published account ledgers allegedly kept by two former treasurers of the ruling Popular Party that purportedly show that at least a dozen senior party officials, including Rajoy, received payments from a secret slush fund.

The report has sparked daily protests by hundreds of demonstrators outside the right-leaning party's headquarters in Madrid as well as in other locations across the country at a time when the unemployment rate stands at a record 26 per cent and the government is imposing tough spending cuts.

The leader of Spain's opposition Socialist party, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, on Sunday called on Mr Rajoy to resign over the corruption scandal while an online petition to oust the prime minister had gathered more than 850,000 signatures by Monday evening.

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