Spanish PM appears in congress over corruption case – Xinhua

MADRID, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was questioned over the Gurtel corruption trial in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday in a session in which he failed to give any explanations to opposition parties.

Rajoy had been cited to appear in Congress by the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Unidos Podemos, Republican Left, and the Mixed Group (which is made up of minority parties), but offered no explanations over the Gurtel scandal during his intervention.

Rajoy’s governing Peoples Party (PP) is deeply implicated in a large amount of cash for favor Gurtel case, which investigates the award of public contracts in return for bribes that the PP used to illegally finance election campaigns and other party expenses.

The Prime Minister made history when he appeared as a witness in the case in court at the end of July, the first serving Spanish leader to testify in such a way.

One Wednesday, Rajoy said there was “no impunity for corruption in Spain”, insisting that Congress was not the place to discuss cases such as Gurtel.

“The irregularities are sanctioned where they have to be sanctioned: in court and in the ballot box,” he added.

Rajoy said his appearance was an “inquisition” by the opposition parties which “led nowhere”.

“They have the right to ask for me to appear,” he said, but insisted that the opposition had only thought about “their political needs” rather than those of the country, which he said were currently “international terrorism, nationalism and the economy.”

“My obligation is to govern and I will continue to do that,” said Rajoy, adding that his party had approved “dozens of laws” to combat corruption.