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Spain's Socialists file no-confidence motion against Rajoy over graft

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Spain's Socialists file no-confidence motion against Rajoy over graft
Could this bring down PM Mariano Rajoy? Archive photo: AFP
11:41 CEST+02:00
Spain's biggest opposition party, the Socialists, filed a no-confidence motion on Friday against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after his conservative Popular Party was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a mega graft trial.

Spain's biggest opposition party, the Socialists, filed a no-confidence motion on Friday against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after his conservative Popular Party was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a mega graft trial.   

READ MORE: Gürtel: Spain's ruling party sentenced in major corruption trial

The motion was filed in Spain's lower house of parliament, a Socialist party spokesman told AFP. To succeed, it will need the support of an absolute majority of 176 lawmakers, a difficult task as opposition parties are deeply divided.

On Thursday, hours after the ruling, Albert Rivera, the leader of Ciudadanos which has supported the PP in parliament  and helped pass the 2018 budget said the Gürtel judgement further "complicated" Spanish politics which is already challenged by the crisis in Catalonia.  .

"This throws all of the plans for this parliament into doubt", Rivera said. "We had seen politicians accused before, but never before had a governing party been found guilty of corruption; this marks a turning point."

"The government of Spain has been found guilty of corruption. This weakens us at a delicate moment because of the separatist challenge".

Meanwhile, Pablo Iglesias who is fighting for survival as leader of Podemos after being embroiled in his own scandal following the purchase of a €600,000 house, has called for a motion of no confidence in Rajoy.

The Podemos leader said the situation was "very serious" and that his party was "ready to support [Socialist Party leader] Pedro Sánchez if he tables one."

"No advanced democracy can put up with a party of criminals in government," Iglesias said.

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