Palma.—On Thursday night, angry demonstrators clashed with police outside Partido Popular headquarters across the country, including Palma, as anger over allegations of illegal cash payments to members of the centre right PP, including the Prime Minister and yesterday the spotlight was on the Majorcan capital where Rajoy is attending a weekend meeting of 17 European Union foreign ministers to discuss the future of Europe. Yesterday afternoon, demonstrators protested outside the sea front hotel in Palma where the PM is staying and where the meeting is being hosted demanding that he resigns. “Rajoy out, elections now” the angry crowd, blocked by a heavy police presence shouted. “If there's corruption, the government must go,” “this is what happens with a fascist government” and “we want a government not a Mafia” were some of the other slogans yelled by the demonstrators who were kept some 100 metres away from the hotel.

Yesterday evening the President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, held talks with Rajoy at the hotel as the foreign ministers began to arrive for the conference which began yesterday evening and will continue today, as will the protests.

Britain is not taking part in the talks as it is not a member of the so-called Reflection on Europe Group which was created by the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle who owns a property on the island and held the conference here last year.

The corruption allegations coincide with Spain's worst economic crisis for decades, with record unemployment and many Spaniards struggling to make ends meet.

The PP's former treasurer, Luis Barcenas, is in custody facing trial for corruption and tax fraud.
He denies the allegations.
He says he made numerous bonus payments - in cash - to Rajoy and other senior party members, out of the party slush fund of illegal donations by businesses.

Ledgers detailing such payments, and apparently written by Barcenas, have been published in two Spanish newspapers .
Rajoy and other PP members have repeatedly denied that they received illegal payments.
The prime minister has accused Barcenas of blackmail.
For now at least there is no sign that Rajoy might resign over the scandal because the PP has a comfortable majority in parliament.


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