Staff Reporter
JAIME Mayor Oreja, who heads the Partido Popular's list of candidates for the forthcoming European elections, yesterday challenged his socialist counterpart Josep Borrell to “a debate on corruption” if he continues to link his party with the cases of torture in Iraq.

Speaking in Majorca, Mayor Oreja, a former minister of the interior, asked Borrell to “respect” the ten million voters who backed the Partido Popular (PP) at the last general elections, and accused him of insinuating that these voters tacitly approved of the torture in Iraqi jails.

He went on to say that if Borrell “wants to debate the matter of torture (in Iraq), we will speak of all the cases of torture in recent times,” a reference to the GAL scandal, which Borrell considers closed as it has been settled judicially.

He asked who Borrell thought he was to decided what topics were open or closed for discussion.
He said he did not think that the European elections would be a repeat of the general elections in March, when the Socialists won, and reproached the PSOE for having introduced this idea into its electoral campaign.

Mayor Oreja said that the Partido Popular “had nothing to be ashamed of” in matters such as corruption and transparency in matters such as terrorism and the fight against terrorism.

He was in Majorca for the closing of a two day congress between the Partido Popular and the German coalition of Christian Democrat Union and Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU), and he emphasised the good relations and the need for victory of both parties in the June 13 elections, in which foreign European Union residents can vote.

He also spoke of the importance of strengthening collaboration between his party and the CDU-CSU “in a period as decisive as the expansion of the European Union.” He added that the two parties shared the same principles, values, the same posture against terrorism, stable development and the indispensable financial reforms needed in the European Union. He said that these ideas will strengthen the relationship between the two groups and will give them greater influence in the EU.

The CDU-CSU list of candidates is headed by Hans Gert Pottering, who accompanied Mayor Oreja at the press conference.

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