Spain: PM posts video training in gym day after head punch



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MADRID (AP) — Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted a video clip of himself working out on a gym treadmill on Thursday, a day after he was punched hard in the face by a youth during an election campaign walkabout.

Rajoy, 60, said in a tweet accompanying the video, "Happy Thursday from Barcelona. We continue heading forward."

Rajoy was assaulted as he walked among a crowd Wednesday evening in the northwestern town of Pontevedra, where he grew up.

TV images showed Rajoy falling toward the ground but being propped up by people around him. His glasses were crushed and his face was bruised.

The Interior Ministry said a 17-year-old Pontevedra resident identified only by his initials A.V.F. was detained after assault. It said he had no previous police record. A Pontevedra police spokesman said the youth faced possible charges of attacking an authority, for which he could be sentenced up to six years in prison.

Leaders of other parties contesting Sunday's general election condemned the assault.

In a radio interview Thursday morning, Rajoy said he would not draw political conclusions from the incident and hoped no one else would.

Polls suggest that Rajoy's Popular Party will win the most seats Sunday but fall short of the majority it has in parliament since 2011. The party's ratings have plunged following years of unpopular austerity cuts hitting cherished national health care and public education plus tax hikes Rajoy had promised not to impose.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ciaran Giles

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