The five deputies of EH Bildu will vote in favor of the General State Budget for 2022. This was announced this Monday at a press conference by the leader of the independence formation, Arnaldo Otegi, and the spokesperson in Congress, Mertxe Aizpurua. A few minutes later, the spokesperson for Más País in Congress, Íñigo Errejón, also announced the yes to the accounts. The Basque party and Más País thus join Compromís, which last Thursday already announced its support for the new accounts as a result of the agreements reached with the Government.
Catalonia, Andalusia and Galicia are the winners in budget investment compared to Madrid, Euskadi or Extremadura
“The political table of EH Bildu has decided to vote favorably on the General State Budgets”, Otegi has settled. “Progress has been made in the negotiations and we want to make a special mention of ERC, which has worked with us, and Podemos, which has contributed,” he added. “People win and people’s rights win,” he emphasized.
Aizpurua has highlighted that thanks to his dialogue with the Executive, the so-called “social shield” that was initially designed exclusively for the pandemic and that has been extended by the Government has been made “permanent”. This shield includes the stoppage of evictions and the delay in the payment of rent for the most needy families, among other measures, such as the prohibition of cutting off supplies such as electricity and water.
In addition, EH Bildu has managed to ensure the issuance of ETB 3 throughout the Navarrese territory before the end of 2022, seeking and applying the necessary technical solutions that enable the issuance. And it has agreed with the Executive a “project for the digitalization and intelligent management of audiovisual media in Basque”. It is “an investment of 500,000 euros that will help to achieve greater access to its contents and a greater reach towards new sectors of the population.”
The negotiation with EH Bildu allowed last week the incorporation of a compensation fund for asbestos victims that was also supported by ERC. The pro-independence group got the commitment of the PSOE and United We Can to provide 25 million euros to that fund. In addition, among the initiatives, an item of 200,000 euros is incorporated to restore the Sestao Blast Furnace.
And other infrastructure improvements in Euskadi and Navarra are included, such as the execution of a cycle track between Irurtzun (Navarra) and Agurain (Álava), improvement actions on the Plentzia (Bizkaia) promenade, noise reductions on the Cercanías line that linking Bilbao and Santurtzi or improving the accessibility of Barakaldo station (Bizkaia).
The achievements of More Country
Regarding what has been achieved by Más País, Errejón explained that in the Budgets there will be a first item for the pilot project to reduce working hours for those companies that voluntarily take advantage of it, and the creation of a Spanish Agency will be promoted of Supervision of Artificial Intelligence. He also celebrated that the next accounts will allocate five million euros to increase psychologists and counselors in mental health in secondary education. It is, he said, a “first step” although he admitted that this still falls short.
With the ‘yes’ of EH Bildu to the accounts, added to that of Más País, Compromís and the PRC, the Executive has 163 votes in favor of the Budgets, still far from the 176 that make up the absolute majority of the Lower House, and that they are necessary to approve the project in the Plenary of Congress that begins this afternoon. PNV and ERC confirm progress in their conversations with the Government but, for the moment, they have not confirmed their support for the Budgets.