Spain's ruling party denies corrupt payments to PM


The ruling People's Party has denied that the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and other leaders received payments from a slush fund after a newspaper published what it said were secret party accounts going back almost two decades.

El Pais said the accounts showed 11 years of payments to Mr Rajoy of €25,200 a year and regular handouts to a number of other party leaders.

The report is bound to damage further the credibility of Mr Rajoy as he battles a deep recession and one of Europe's highest unemployment levels.

The People's Party secretary general, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, denied the allegations and said: "We have absolutely nothing to hide."