Spanish premier punched on face amid election campaign walkabout

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has taken a hard sucker punch in the face from a teenage boy in one of his campaign appearances only three days ahead of the country’s general elections.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when the 60-year-old premier was in the city of Pontevedra in the northwestern Galicia region talking among a crowd of people.

The 17-year-old boy left Rajoy a bruised face with broken glasses. He had pretended to be interested in taking a selfie with the premier to get closer to Rajoy. The unnamed attacker was then wrestled to the ground by security guards and arrested.

The 17-year-old boy, who punched the Spanish premier on the face, is pictured giving the thumbs-up and smiling as he was led away by police on December 16, 2015. (Reuters)

Reports say that the Spanish prime minister is fine and continued his walk through the city with red marks on the left side of his face and neck. Rajoy later twitted, “Heartfelt thanks for the displays of affection and solidarity I’ve received this afternoon. Let’s keep working.”

The incident occurred amid an eventful time for the electoral campaign. During a debate of rare ferocity on Monday night, his main rival Pedro Sanchez of the opposition Socialists accused Rajoy of corruption and questioned his integrity. The usually calm leader of the ruling Popular Party (PP) called Sanchez “a miserable wretch” and rejected his claims, saying he had never been accused of “misappropriating anything.”

The Spain’s general elections are due to be held on Sunday and despite the poor economic situation in the European country, Rajoy’s party is expected to win.

 

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