March 11, 2014
Rajoy ‘convinced’ Princess Cristina is innocent
Spanish prime minister defends royal accused of tax fraud in rare interview
MADRID — The Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy said yesterday in a televsion interview that he is confident that Princess Cristina, suspected of committing tax fraud, is innocent.
Rajoy gave an interview to Spanish television station Antena 3 yesterday, one of the few channels he speaks to nowadays, and when the enterviewer Gloria Lomana brought up the corruption case against the princess Rajoy defended her to the hilt.
“I am convinced that the princess is innocent,” said Rajoy during the interview.
Rajoy also went as far to say that the princess should not give up her royal rights in order to protect the Spanish crown as it had been suggested in recent weeks.
“I don’t think she should resign,” he said.
Pressure is mounting on Rajoy after corruption went up by six points on the latest study carried out by the Sociological Investigations Centre (CIS), which cites it as the second biggest worry for the Spanish public.
“I believe that in the eyes of the law we are all equal. Princess Cristina also has the right to claim her innocence. She has been called to testify, she hasn’t been convicted of any crime,” said Rajoy. “I am convinced that everything will turn out fine for her in the end.”
Later on in the interview, when asked if the case will eventually go to trial, he said emphatically: “No, because I am completly convinced that she is innocent.”
Rajoy has a history for sitting on the fence in these types of cases and not sticking his neck out for anyone. He did however defend former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas when El País gave wind of the so called slush fund scandal at the beginning of 2013.
Rajoy also told press at that moment that he was convinced of Bárcenas’ innocence. The latter is now being held in custody awaiting trial.
The King of Spain
Rajoy admitted that he speaks to the King of Spain Juan Carlos I on a regular basis and that allegations of tax fraud against the princess are “hurting him.”
“I see him very often, he never hides from these sort of things. He always shows his face and informs people on what is going on in Spain,” Rajoy said.
The prime minister was much more comfortable talking about the economy than the day’s other controversial issues.
Rajoy has already made promises that will be very hard to fufill before his mandate comes to an end. He was quoted as saying that he would promise to leave office with less unemployement than when he was elected.
This means that Rajoy’s government will have to create 630,000 jobs by the end of his term.
“I am convinced that we can achieve this but I am not prepared to give specific numbers,” Rajoy said.
Herald with Télam, online media