Popular Party senator Luz Elena Sanín told journalists that Spain’s ruling conservative party had increased its public spending due to "the debts" caused by “subsidies for NGOs and homosexuals”.
Sanín, who represents Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta in the Senate, said former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero with the country's opposition Socialists had forced the country’s debt to surpass a record €1 trillion with "his favours".
The Colombian-born politician, now a Spanish national, added that her party had been forced to further aggravate the country’s economic crisis when coming to power in order to pay back the debt from Zapatero’s subsidies for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.
"Otherwise we wouldn't have this gaping economic hole," Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported her as saying during a press conference held to sing the praises of her party's economic model.
Her comments have been met with staunch opposition from members of Spain’s Socialist Party and LGBT groups, who have described her words as a "breeding ground for homophobia".
"Blaming NGOs and LGBT groups for the government’s public debt is shameful," Socialist MP Patricia Hernández told online daily El Plural, claiming that Sanín either had to apologize or resign.
"It’s absurd and ludicrous. All it does is denote the PP senator’s homophobia, this is what she thinks the socialists’ financial inheritance is".
Even members from her own party have attempted to distance themselves from Salvín’s accusations.
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"I don’t agree at all that Zapatero’s feeble economic management was caused by subsidies offered to gay, lesbian and transsexual groups," Popular Party Ceuta MP Francisco Márquez said in response.
"They’re organizations that work for just and legitimate causes and receive subsidies based on current legislation."
Many in Spain blame the Socialists for the country's long economic crisis which has left 25 percent of people out of work.