Home Europe Spanish PM Sánchez weighs options amid wife’s corruption accusations

Spanish PM Sánchez weighs options amid wife’s corruption accusations

by editor

The key question is what will 52-year-old Sánchez, one of Europe’s longest-serving Socialist leaders, decide to do on Monday.


Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez left Spain in suspense after announcing he may step down because of what he called an “unprecedented smear campaign” against his wife.

Sánchez, who has been in office since 2018, stunned the nation on Wednesday by announcing that he was cancelling all official events until next week, when he will unveil his future plans. 

The announcement came hours after a Madrid provincial judge agreed to study allegations of corruption brought by a right-wing group against Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez.

What’s next for Sanchez?

If Sánchez resigns then it will fall to Spain’s King Felipe VI to consult with the leaders of the parties in the parliament’s lower house to see if any politician can gather enough support necessary to form a new government. Sánchez’s party could feasibly remain in office but none of his colleagues has his charisma and respect.

Sánchez could decide to face a vote of confidence by the lower house, which he could win with a simple majority based on the support he already enjoys. This could be a strategic move ahead of important regional elections in Spain’s Catalonia region in May as well as those in Europe in June.

Sánchez could announce early elections, but the parliament could not be dissolved before May 29 to comply with a constitutional mandate that one year must pass between the dissolution of parliament by the prime minister.

Prosecutors seeking to dismiss case

Hours before Sánchez dropped his bombshell-in-a-letter, a Spanish judge agreed to look into allegations of corruption against Gómez made by a private group with a history of filing lawsuits mainly for right-wing causes. The complaint is based on news reports. On Thursday, the Madrid regional prosecutor recommended it be thrown out.

The court based in Madrid will eventually either shelve the complaint or open full investigations with a view to trial. But it now has the authority to call people in for testimony, which could cause greater embarrassment for Gómez. 

Gómez has not been indicted.

The judge agreed to look into the allegations that Gómez allegedly used her position to influence business deals. The court did not provide further information and said that the probe was under seal.

Earlier this year, Spain’s government watchdog for conflict of interests tossed out a complaint made by the Popular Party against Sánchez in which the opposition party claimed that Gómez had allegedly influenced her husband in a decision related to an airline.

Gómez, 49, does not hold public office and maintains a low political profile. She studied marketing and has been involved with fundraising projects and non-governmental organizations.

Watch the video in the player above to find out more.

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