Spain’s Sanchez Says He’s Considering Quitting as Premier

(Bloomberg) -- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he’s considering resigning due to the attacks that he and his wife have faced in recent weeks.

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Sanchez, 52, said he’s canceling all public appearances for the next few days to reflect on the situation and will announce his decision on April 29.

“Is all this worth it?” he asked in an open letter posted on X. “Honestly, I don’t know.”

On Wednesday, a Spanish court announced that it was opening an inquiry following a criminal complaint by a small union best known for its legal actions. The inquiry will target Sanchez’s wife, Begona Gomez, for alleged influence peddling in connection to past business dealings while working for a university.

Sanchez’s announcement adds to the political uncertainty surrounding his government and to the policy paralysis that has stymied it since mid-2023, when the premier called snap elections after his party suffered a scathing defeat in local and regional ballots. The premier’s minority coalition is Spain’s weakest government in about 90 years.

The country is set for a high-stakes election on May 12 in Catalonia, the second-largest region, where his Socialists are trying to gain a clear win against separatist parties. Earlier this month, an election in the wealthy Basque region saw two nationalist parties combined take about 70% of the vote.

The organization that filed the legal complaint against Begona Gomez is a “far-right” group, Sanchez said. The scandal has been widely covered for weeks by a group of news websites, most of them critical of the government. In his letter, Sanchez said that the judge will call as witnesses the heads of these websites which are “clearly right and far-right.”

Sanchez also said that opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo, who heads the conservative People’s Party, and Santiago Abascal, of the far-right party Vox, are pursuing a “harass and demolish” strategy that has been aimed against him for months.

Gomez, who has mostly kept a low public profile since her husband became premier in 2018, has found herself in the spotlight following news reports that she once had a business relationship with the owners of the tourism company, which went on to receive a large state-backed rescue package during the pandemic.

Feijoo’s PP has seized on the Gomez scandal to attack Sanchez, calling on the premier and his wife to provide formal explanations. To avoid a conflict of interest, the PP says Sanchez should have recused himself from a cabinet meeting in which the corporate rescue package was approved.

(Updates with government details in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)

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