Staycation time: EU leaders keep it low-key
Last year, rumors that Spain would need an international bailout threatened to ruin the holidays for the Spanish prime minister. This year, it could be a political scandal surrounding him.
Spanish newspapers have reported that Rajoy will spend his holidays in the north-western city of Pontevedra in Galicia this year, rather than at his beach apartment in Sanxenxo, where he has gone for 20 years. The change was apparently due to "security reasons," according to Spanish newspaper El Correo.
Instead, he will stay in a rented house called "Casa Alicia" in the nearby town of Ribadumia which costs 260 euros per night and can sleep up to six people. It is also deemed secure enough by the state security service, according to news site Publico.
Rajoy will also spend some of his holidays (which end on August 30) at the Palacio de Las Marismillas, a building of national heritage in Andalucia, as well as some time with the King and Queen of Spain in Mallorca, Publico reported.
Rajoy has decided to go on holiday despite a mounting political scandal over a secret slush fund from which the prime minister is alleged to have benefited.
He faced questioning on the scandal in parliament on Thursday/
Rajoy is already facing a growing public backlash over austerity measures, public sector job cuts and tax increases. Aware of his party's unpopularity, he has ordered his party members to holiday within Spain rather than abroad. At least, Rajoy will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when 5,000 people turned up to protest outside the apartment where he was holidaying.
The Spanish government's press office said that Rajoy's holidays are a "personal affair. "What we can tell you is that he is planning a visit to Galicia and Donana [in Andalucia]," a spokesperson said.