Spanish PM Considers Resigning

Politics - April 26, 2024

In an unexpected move, Pedro Sanchez, the Socialist Prime Minister from Spain, announced in a letter addressed to the citizens that he would be considering his resignation from office.

The Prime Minister posted the letter on X in the evening of April 24.

No other Spanish Prime Minister has announced he would suspend his public agenda to evaluate his resignation.

The only precedent of a resignation from a Prime Minister was Adolfo Suárez, the first premier after Spain’s transition to democracy. He did not announce in advance he would ponder his decision.

In the four-page letter, Sánchez ranted about a supposed strategy coordinated by a “constellation of far-right media” to “harass and demolish” him and his family.

He also pointed directly at opposition leaders Alberto Núñez Feijóo, of the centre-right People’s Party (PP, EPP) and the Conservative party VOX (ECR), led by Santiago Abascal.

In the words of the Prime Minister, both Feijóo and Abascal have “overreacted” over allegations about his wife’s business activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Sánchez himself admitted he would need some time to “stop and reflect” about the accusations levied against his wife, Begoña Gómez, from several newspapers and civil society organisations.

It was revealed in April Begoña Gómez had allegedly used her connections and proximity to Pedro Sánchez to secure government contracts.

After formal complaints and much scutiny in the media, a court in Madrid decided to formally open a preliminary investigation against Gómez.

Sánchez argues in his letter that the information backing the complaint the court accepted is baseless and the work of a “digital ultraconservative galaxy.”

The Prime Minister takes the matter personally. “I am a man who is profoundly in love with his wife.”

“I am not naïve,” he added.

“I am aware they are signaling Begoña, not because she has done anything illegal (they know they do not have a case), but because she is my wife.”

“Begoña will defend her honour and will collaborate with the justice system in everything that could be required,” Sánchez insisted.

Feijóo said it is Sánchez who is making this a political issue, when it is a matter of the courts.

The PP leader had said earlier this month that he would not go after Gómez. “It is not my style,” he said then.

In the letter, Sánchez posited the question “is all this worth it?” According to him, “this attack has no precedent, it is so severe, and blunt that I need time to stop and reflect with my wife.”

Sánchez said he will announce his “decision” on Monday, April 29.

Much speculation has been running around social media.

Some argue Sánchez has secured a position in the upcoming renewal of European institutions after the June elections. Others point to the reopening of the Pegasus case of alleged espionage against him as the cause for his potential resignation.

According to the PP, Sánchez is not planning to resign next Monday. “This is just another page from his Resistance Manual,” a reference to Sánchez’s 2019 autobiography.

To many, Sánchez made this move to take the focus away from the investigation against his wife.

According to some reports, however, Sánchez had already told the King (the Head of State) about his intention to resign.

There is still no clarity about Sánchez’s future.

The leader of the VOX party, Santiago Abascal questioned whether this is a “propaganda move” by Sánchez.

He accused Sánchez of “the greatest case of political corruption” in Spain’s history for his unsavoury agreements with convicted Catalan separatist.

The Sánchez administration has been marred by a series of corruption scandals. Earlier this year, a court opened another investigation on an advisor of one of Sánchez’s former ministers who allegedly used his access to benefit himself from government contracts, also during the COVID 19 pandemic.