Spanish opposition stands by wiretapping claims

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Spain's main opposition Popular Party stood by allegations the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been conducting illegal wiretaps of its members.

Madrid – Spain's main opposition Popular Party on Tuesday stood by allegations the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been conducting illegal wiretaps of its members.

The ruling Socialist Party has energetically denied the allegations, first made on 6 August, accusing the PP of seeking to distract attention from a scandal over alleged corruption involving several of its members.

"If the opposition says that it feels it has been spied on, what the government should do is open an investigation and not insult the opposition, that is what is done in any democratic country," PP secretary general Maria Dolores de Cospedal told a news conference.

"The PP has made its accusation, now it is up to courts to investigate, we are going to stand by our accusation and make clear what is going on," added Dolores de Cospedal, who refused to name the members of the PP who have allegedly been spied on.

Earlier Tuesday Spain's minister for regional cooperation, Manuel Chaves, called on the PP to name the targets of the alleged wiretapping.

"They should say who it is, because if they don't they will go down in history as the great liars in Spanish politics," he told public radio RNE.

Last week PP leader Mariano Rajoy accused Zapatero of "persecuting" member of the PP with "televised arrests," "parallel trials" and "violations of secret investigations".

A number of PP members have been under investigation since February in connection with a scandal in which bribes were allegedly paid to the regional governments of Madrid and Valencia by businessmen to ensure contracts.

The party's treasurer, Luis Barcenas, who has been questioned by a judge in connection with the scandal, announced last month he was stepping down until he was "proven innocent before the courts."

A court in Valencia last week dropped a corruption probe against the head of the Valencia regional government, Francisco Camps, a senior PP member. Prosecutors have since appealed the decision.

AFP / Expatica

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