Journalists sign manifesto in defense of Spanish PM and wife, criticize right-wing media, parties

FILE - Spain's Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez and and his wife Begona Gomez, left, celebrate general election results in Madrid, Spain, April 28, 2019. Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has left Spain in suspense on announcing he may step down because of what he called an "unprecedented" smear campaign against his wife. Sanchez, who has been in office since 2018, stunned all Wednesday April 24, 2024 by announcing that he was canceling all events until next week when he will unveil his future. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

MADRID (AP) — Thousands of Spanish journalists came out Friday in support of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his wife following Sánchez’s announcement that he was considering his future as premier after a court opened preliminary proceedings against his wife on corruption allegations.

Sánchez, who is to announce his future Monday, blamed the judicial probe on “spurious” attacks by right and far-right opponents in the media and political parties.

In support, several thousand journalists and writers signed an online manifesto saying, “the attack by the media and judicial extreme right against the wife of the President of the Government is a new attempt to subvert the popular will expressed at the polls through illicit means.”

It criticized what it called a “campaign of hoaxes, falsehoods and harassment” against members of the last two leftist coalition governments, saying they were coordinated and financed by right-wing political parties, aligned media, businesses and judiciary members.

The legal complaint against Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez, was filed by a far-right legal platform that says Gómez used her position to influence business deals.

The group, Manos Limpias, or “Clean Hands,” acknowledged that the complaint was based on newspaper articles. Spanish prosecutors say it should be thrown out.

“The undersigned journalists invite civil society to join this manifesto and to mobilize on social networks and in the streets against this anti-democratic outrage,” Friday’s manifesto read.

“Governments are chosen and changed at the polls and in Parliament,” it continued, before ending with the call of “No to the judicial and media coup. No to the mud machine.”

The right-of center opposition Popular Party, however, said Sánchez’s behavior was a pathetic ploy to try to win support in upcoming regional and European elections.

Sánchez’s supporters plan a demonstration in support of Sánchez in Madrid on Saturday.