Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will speak publicly Saturday about corruption allegations implicating the ruling conservative Popular Party's former treasurer and reports of alleged payments to party leaders from a slush fund.
His deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, made the announcement Friday at a press conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting.
She spoke to reporters after a media report about an alleged secret ledger showing two decades of off-the-books cash payments to PP leaders, including Rajoy.
The government's No. 2 said Rajoy's conduct has always been "exemplary" throughout the 12 years she has worked with him and pledged that the government will get to the bottom of the scandal and ensure that anyone guilty of misconduct is duly punished.
The PP's National Executive Committee will hold an extraordinary meeting Saturday to consider additional responses to the allegations.
Madrid daily El Pais on Thursday published extracts from an alleged secret ledger attributed to former PP treasurers Alvaro Lapuerta and Luis Barcenas and covering the period 1990-2009.
Responding to the El Pais report, the party said Thursday that its financial arrangements are managed "in accord with legality and complying with tax obligations."
The controversy erupted last month when authorities in Switzerland told a Spanish judge probing a kickbacks-for-contracts scandal known as the "Gürtel case" that Barcenas had deposited some 22 million euros (roughly $30 million) in Swiss bank accounts.
After initially ordering an internal review of PP finances, Rajoy said Jan. 21 that he had commissioned an examination by independent external auditors. EFE