Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spanish prime minister Rajoy accused of hiding secret income

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy's government was rocked by a major corruption scandal on Thursday after the publication of documents that allegedly showed him receiving €250,000 that had been hidden from tax authorities.

Rajoy denied the allegations after El País published extracts from what it said were secret accounts for his People's party (PP). But opponents called for his resignation and ordinary Spaniards asked whether those now imposing spending cuts and tax rises in the middle of a painful recession had previously indulged in, or tolerated, systematic tax avoidance.

El País said the documents showed payments from a number of well-known Spanish business people that were then partly used to pay regular supplements to senior party officials over more than a decade. The most recent payments were in 2009.