Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told lawmakers Thursday he would not resign or hold early elections despite calls from the opposition for him to step down amid the allegations of corruption leveled against his party.
"They are not asking me for explanations, but just declaring me guilty," Rajoy said, referring to the opposition.
The prime minister made an appearance in the Senate to discuss the investigation into the activities of former Popular Party, or PP, treasurer Luis Barcenas.
The former PP treasurer, according to press reports, allegedly kept a secret ledger that appears to show two decades of off-the-books cash payments to party leaders, including Rajoy.
Barcenas told an investigating judge that the money came from businesses.
"They are not interested in what you are going to tell them because what I say does not match their version," Rajoy told senators.
Opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party, or PSOE, senators called on Rajoy to resign over his role in the case, and they also demanded that he hold early elections.
The opposition refused to accept Rajoy's denial of the allegations and criticized him for staying in contact with Barcenas after the former PP treasurer was under investigation and allowing the party to continue paying him a salary.
The prime minister said he had not broken any laws and did not enter politics to enrich himself.
Calling new elections just one year and eight months after the last vote "is the opposite of what is needed" in Spain because it would hurt the economic recovery, Rajoy said. EFE