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Spanish PM to announce decision on resignation

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will announce his decision on his possible resignation at 12pm local time (11am Irish time), his office has said.

It will be a televised reading statement.

Mr Sanchez, 52, surprised both foes and allies when he said on Wednesday he was taking several days away from public duty to consider quitting.

He made his announcement on the same day a court said it would investigate his wife Begona Gomez for influence peddling and business corruption, allegations he said were false and orchestrated by his conservative opponents

Mr Sanchez, in office since 2018 and only reappointed to another term in November, is expected to address the media from the Moncloa palace in Madrid, his official residence.

Pedro Sanchez and his wife Begona Gomez

The court opened its investigation into Mr Sanchez’s wife in response to a complaint by anti-corruption pressure group Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), whose leader is linked to the far right.

The group, which has presented a litany of unsuccessful lawsuits against politicians in the past, said in a statement on Wednesday that it had based its complaint on media reports and could not vouch for their veracity.

While the court did not give details of the case, online news site El Confidencial said it was related to her ties to several private companies that received government funding or won public contracts.

Sanchez has said the move against his wife is part of a campaign of “harassment” against them both waged by “media heavily influenced by the right and far right” and supported by the conservative opposition.

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