Spanish Socialists Take to Streets Urging PM Sanchez to Stay On

(Bloomberg) -- Thousands of Spanish Socialist supporters took to the streets of Madrid and urged Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to stay in the job after he said he needed to think about his future.

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The activists gathered Saturday outside party headquarters to chant “He must stay” and “You’re not alone.” Inside the building, party leaders were gathered for an executive meeting, with Sanchez absent.

Spain’s premier announced on Wednesday that he was taking a five-day break to think about his future after a judge opened criminal proceedings into his wife’s business dealings, which Sanchez deemed part of a right-wing conspiracy against him.

Prime minister since 2018, Sanchez, 52, said he’ll announce on Monday whether he plans to continues in the job.

Party officials also used the meeting to show support for their leader.

“It’s worth defending the dignity of a country,” said Deputy Prime Minister Maria Jesus Montero. “And for that we need you. We need the best leader, the bravest and most energetic and determined prime minister and the most humane Pedro,” she said, addressing Sanchez directly.

Read more: Spain’s Improviser PM Keeps His Entire Country on Alert

Sanchez’s announcement, which came in the form of an open letter, is a sign of his honesty, said Emiliano García-Page, president of the Castille-La Mancha region to the south and east of Madrid. He added that he prefers it when leaders and colleagues “feel pain in the face of an unjust, false accusation, rather then if they show indifference.”

Read more: All About the Graft Cases Shaking Spanish Politics

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