Former Socialist minister pledges to support Spanish government after suspension from party

José Luis Ábalos now forms part of the mixed group in Congress after he refused to step down as MP

Former minister José Luis Ábalos gives a press conference in Madrid
Former minister José Luis Ábalos gives a press conference in Madrid / Miquel Vera
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

February 28, 2024 10:22 AM

February 28, 2024 10:22 AM

Former Spanish development minister José Luis Ábalos has pledged that he will continue to support Pedro Sánchez's government from his new position in the mixed group in Congress after being suspended from the Socialist Party.

In fact, Ábalos has even said that he will also vote in favor of the amnesty law benefitting Catalan pro-independence leaders.

"Now the discipline is up to me", but "I don't want to be a problem for the majority government in Congress and I will follow the voting guidelines of the Socialist Party," he said in interviews with RAC1 and Catalunya Ràdio.

"The government will have my support and my vote without a doubt. I will continue to fight for what I think and I will continue to work to prevent the far-right from growing," he added.

In the interviews, the former minister also said that he has not illegally profited "at all" from his time in politics, that his life is "very transparent" and that he has less wealth than when he was a minister.

Asked why he did not give up his MP seat as the leadership of the Socailist Party asked him to do so on Monday, Ábalos responded that he did not want to leave politics "through the back door" after so many years.

"I would be dead in life," he said, suggesting that people would assume he is also guilty in the 'Koldo case'.

"At my age two things can happen: not giving up or succumbing. For now I choose not to give up."

Ábalos was suspended from the Socialist Party on Tuesday after refusing to give up his seat in the wake of the 'Koldo case.'

Last week, Ábalos' former aide Koldo Garcia was arrested in an investigation into alleged corruption in the purchase of face masks during the pandemic.

Although Ábalos is not under investigation and his name is not in the investigation, the Socialists consider there is "political responsibility" and urged the minister to resign "immediately."