Rajoy has denied any wrongdoing in the affair which involves Swiss bank accounts and allegations of a party slush fund, but it has eroded his credibility as he tries to plug a huge budget deficit and prove Spain is not the weak link of the euro zone.
A moderate conservative whose signature political strategy is to sit tight while opponents wear themselves out, Rajoy has made no dramatic announcements of a party clean-up or sacked any officials, saying he will let justice take its course.
Frustrated by this caution, some People’s Party (PP) members are joining opposition demands for Rajoy to step down. They argue his authority has been so damaged he can no longer deal with Spain’s many crises, although none has yet rebelled openly.
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