Spanish opposition parties have launched a fierce campaign to end the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy after courts ruled that his Partido Popular profited from a large kickbacks-for-contracts scheme. The Socialist opposition announced a vote of no confidence against the prime minister with the backing of anti-establishment and left-wing parties, while the pro-business Ciudadanos (Citizens) – which had supported the conservative minority government until now – urged Mr Rajoy to call a fresh election.
Brazil’s federal police served five arrest warrants and conducted search and seizure operations in three states on Monday, in the latest round of a sweeping corruption probe around state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Police said contractors paid at least 39 million reais (US$ 12m) in bribes to executives of Petrobras, and rigged public auctions at Petrobras’ research centre Cenpes.
With senior members of his own Popular Party among the dozens of Spaniards facing charges of corruption and bribery, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy apologized to the Senate for appointing to public office some individuals who were not “worthy” of it.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy apologised on Thursday for mishandling a major corruption scandal, but denied he or his conservative People's Party, PP, accepted illegal payments and rejected opposition calls to step down.