Spain's PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijó claimed Prime Minister Pedro Pedro Sánchez wants "regime change". (Isabel Infantes/Getty Images)


PM Sánchez aiming for ‘regime change’ in Spain


The leader of the Spanish opposition has accused Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of “working behind the scenes to foment a regime change” in Spain.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo of the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) called out Sánchez over remarks he made on April 29, during which he announced his decision to remain as premier after previously hinting he may resign the role.

The PP leader took particular issue with Sánchez’s declaration that Spain must fight “far-right” news outlets that are “perverting” democracy.

“He wants a country that fits him, that is beholden to him,” Feijóo claimed, adding that Sánchez’s address represented his “most dangerous speech” as Prime Minister.

“What Spain needs is a new democratic government, with a Prime Minister who is up for the task.”

Sánchez said he intended to lead a “democratic regeneration” in a late-night interview with the Spanish National Television Broadcasting Service (TVE).

He also criticised what he called “pseudo-media outlets” and added that he regretted not facing “the problem of digital news media” before this point.

Feijóo stressed Sánchez wanted “no opposition, justice or freedom of expression”, though ruled out holding a vote of no confidence against the Spanish leader.

Sánchez’s speech also prompted outrage from Spain’s hard-conservative VOX party, with party leader Santiago Abascal saying that the PM’s remarks were “a reaffirmation of his coup against unity, coexistence, the rule of Law, the separation of power, and freedom of the press”.

The conservative leader echoed the comments he made earlier this month at an event organised by the VOX think-tank, Fundación Disenso, who claimed the socialist leader represented “the European paradigm of corruption, the suppression of liberties and attacks on public property”.

Abascal went on to accuse the PP of leading merely lukewarm opposition to what he claimed was a “threat” to any “dissent”. He demanded the PP “breaks any agreements it has” with Sánchez’s party.

The war of words comes as pressure is put on the Spanish prime minister over corruption allegations involving his wife.

VOX announced on April 29 that the party intended to join official accusations against Sánchez’s wife over alleged influence peddling.

Sánchez has rejected the accusations, maintaining that he and his family have been the target of a “well-designed calculated strategy” fed by opposition parties.

“My wife and I know this defamation campaign will not stop,” he said on April 29, adding both would be willing to testify before the PP-led Senate if they were summoned to do so.

Sánchez’s governing coalition partner, SUMAR’s Yolanda Díaz, has backed the PM and encouraged him to “fight the Right and the far-right not with speeches, but with policies”.