The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Podemos have signed a joint petition to parliament demanding the house be recalled from its summer break to discuss the Prime Minister's role in the allegedly fraudulent management of the Popular Party in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Specifically, the two left-wing parties want the Mariano Rajoy to appear "to explain the motives for which he refuses to assume political responsibility for the corruption cases that have appeared in the Popular Party and which have led to him having to testify before the National High Court".

The Spanish Congress's 65-member permanent committee–which takes decisions when parliament is in recess—will now decide on whether or not to accept the opposition request.

The Socialist Party has 15 members on the committee, Podemos 12, the Popular Party 25 and Ciudadanos six. The other seven seats belong to regional minority parties.

A spokeswoman for the Spanish Congress told The Spain Report on Thursday that it was now up to the Speaker—Rajoy loyalist Ana Pastor (PP)—to set a date for that vote: "which could be at any time until the end of the summer".

A simple majority in favour of the petition would be enough to recall parliament.

PSOE spokeswoman Margarita Robles told a TV programme on Thursday that: "Yesterday, Mr. Rajoy thought he was in parliament, where he doesn't answer questions", adding that: "if there is nothing to hide, the PP should welcome the chance to speak".

On Wednesday, Mariano Rajoy answered an investigating judge's questions for two hours as a witness, repeatedly claiming he knew nothing, saw little and had contact with almost no one named as a suspect in the ongoing fraud case, which is looking into off-the-books accounting and party financing when Mr. Rajoy was a minister under José María Aznar.

Shortly after the prime minister's testimony ended, the leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, called on him to "resign this morning before the King" and said it was "a black day in the history of our democracy".

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said: "The impertinence and insolence with which Rajoy talks to citizens is shameful".