The president of the Spanish Government, the socialist Pedro Sánchez, found himself in the opposition’s spotlight this Wednesday when it became known that his wife will be investigated for alleged corruption, due to a complaint filed by a group close to the extreme right.

A Madrid court opened a preliminary investigation into the wife of the President of the Government, Begoña Gómez, for suspicions of influence peddling and corruption.

In a brief statement, the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM) announced that a city court opened an “investigation for the alleged commission of the crimes of influence peddling and corruption in business against Begoña Gómez”.

The TSJM indicated that the investigation was opened on April 16 and that the proceedings are “secret.”

Asked in the Congress of Deputies about the investigation, Sánchez responded that he trusts in justice.

“On a day like today, and After the news that I have learned, despite everything, I continue to believe in the justice of my country,” said the leader. socialist.

Air Europa rescue plan

The court’s decision was made known a few hours after the digital media El Confidencial published a news item in which Investigators were said to be examining Gómez’s ties to several private companies that ended up receiving funds and public contracts from the government..

El Confidencial affirms that the investigation is related to the alleged links of Pedro Sánchez’s wife with the Spanish tourism group Globalia, owner of the airline Air Europa, at a time when it was holding talks with the Government to obtain a large-scale rescue for the company, seriously affected by the drop in air traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At that time, Begoña Gómez directed the IE Africa Center, a foundation related to the Instituto de Empresa (IE) business school, a position she left in 2022.

El Confidencial affirms that the “IE Africa Center of Begoña Gómez signed a sponsorship agreement with Globalia in 2020” and that the wife of the President of the Government “met privatelyor with the CEO of the tourist holding company, Javier Hidalgo, in the company’s own offices.”

“On those same dates, Globalia was negotiating a million-dollar rescue with the Government,” the media added.

In November 2020, in fact, Pedro Sánchez’s government offered an aid line of 475 million euros (507 million dollars) to Air Europa arising from a fund of 10,000 million euros intended to support strategic companies in difficulty due to the pandemic.

The Spanish company was the first to benefit from this fund. Many others followed, including several of its competitors (Iberia, Vueling, Volotea, etc.).

On Wednesday, the right-wing opposition maintained that it is “urgent” for the President of the Government to give “explanations”, through Ester Muñoz, a member of the leadership of the Popular Party (PP, right). “Everything is very serious and everything will end up being known,” warned the party spokesperson, Borja Sémper.

Since the press revealed the matter several weeks ago, the PP He has not stopped attacking Pedro Sánchez and his wife.

“Trumpist practices”

Several deputies from Pedro Sánchez’s camp criticized the right for manipulating justice for political purposes.

The president of the socialist group in the Congress of Deputies, Patxi López, denounced “a strategy in which accusations are launched without any data, without any truthful information, without any evidence, only to cause harm, only to cause dirt.”

“They use a false complaint from a far-right organization to defame and insult the presidency of the Government,” said the opposition’s number two, María Jesús Montero.

“We are not going to allow these Trumpist practices to undermine Spain’s democracy”he added.

Clean Hands, the group founded in 1995 that filed the complaint against Begoña Gómez, has been behind several lawsuits in recent years and has acted as a civil party in many corruption cases.

It is considered close to the extreme right, among other things due to the personality of its founder, Miguel Bernad, former leader of the National Front party, dissolved in 1993.

Accused of participating in an extortion ring, Bernad was sentenced to four years in prison in July 2021, but was eventually acquitted on appeal last month due to lack of evidence, according to the court.


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