Spain’s Prime Minister Sánchez says he’ll continue in office after days of reflection

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Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez applauds he was chosen by a majority of legislators to form a new government after a parliamentary vote at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Spain on Nov 16, 2023. (AP)

MADRID, April 29, (AP): Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday ended days of speculation about his future by saying he will continue in office “with even more strength.”
Sánchez shocked his country last Wednesday by taking five days off to think about his future, following the decision by a court to open preliminary proceedings against his wife on corruption allegations.
“I have decided to continue on with even more strength at the helm of the government of Spain,” he said in a televised speech after informing King Felipe VI of the decision earlier Monday.
His resignation would have deprived Europe of its longest-serving Socialist prime minister currently in charge of a major European Union country right before European elections in June.
“It is a decision that does not mean a return to the status quo, this will mark a before and after, I promise you that,” Sánchez said, without detailing what steps he could take to curtail “the smear campaign” he says he and his family is facing.
The eurozone’s fourth-largest economy had been in suspense since Sánchez, prime minister since 2018, posted an emotional letter on X on Wednesday before he holed up in his Moncloa Palace, the prime minister’s residence in Madrid. In it it he said the moves against wife were too personal an attack on his family and he needed time to decide on his priorities.
In that letter, where he declared himself “deeply in love” with wife Begoña Gómez, he said that he could no longer just stand aside and watch her being targeted by a legal probe brought by allegations by a right-wing platform that accused her of using her position to influence business deals.
The group, Manos Limpias, or “Clean Hands,” acknowledged that the complaint was based on newspaper articles. Spanish prosecutors say it should be thrown out.
The expectation Monday was such that Spain’s state broadcaster had put up a 10-minute countdown clock before his announcement on the screen during their morning news talk show.
Speaking from the steps of Moncloa Palace, Sánchez said that he and his wife “know that this campaign to discredit them won’t stop” but that he has decided that he couldn’t give his adversaries the satisfaction of giving up.

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