Spanish PM refuses to step down

<p>Spain’s leader says he will not be resigning.</p>

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has refused to step down from the role, stating he intends to continue to fulfil the mandate his country's people gave him.

Mr Rajoy has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks as a result of his alleged links with a suspect in a payments scandal.

But the Spanish leader insisted that although he admits sending text messages to the suspect, Luis Barcenas, ex-treasurer of his Popular Party, he did not break any laws.

Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, leader of the country's main opposition Socialist Party, has called for Mr Rajoy to step down immediately but he says he will not.

"The rule of law does not bow to blackmail and the institutions, the administrations of justice, the judicial police and tax administrations have acted and are acting and will continue to act with absolute independence," the prime minister was quoted as saying by BBC News.

Spain has struggled to recover from the recession more than many European countries, with the nation experiencing high levels of unemployment, especially among young people.

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