“On a day like today a year ago you said that they were the last Budgets of the legislature,” recalled a senior government official in an informal conversation with journalists a couple of hours before Congress endorsed, with the same majority as in 2020, the public accounts for next year, which have a record of social spending thanks to European funds. Pedro Sánchez ensures the remainder of the legislature thanks to the support of eleven different parties -188 votes in favor- in the absence of the Senate carrying out its processing. If the upper house introduces any changes, Congress will definitely have to give them the green light at the end of December.
The PNV does not end the negotiation on Budgets although it supports them in the first votes
“Two budgets in a row. It has not happened since 2015,” added sources from Moncloa on the merit of the coalition – which has to sweat its shirt for each vote – in drawing the most important law of the year for the second time. On this occasion, the Budgets allow the articulation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan agreed with Brussels in exchange for the funds with which the EU intends to save the economies after the pandemic. From now on, the Government will focus its efforts on the labor reform and the changes in the pension system that are part of the coalition agreement, but also of the details closed with Brussels in the framework of the negotiation of the funds.
“The public accounts contemplate the largest social investment in history, with 240,375 million euros, which means that almost 60% of the national budget is allocated to spending on caring for people,” says the Treasury in a statement.
The Government has taken forward the voting of the Budget sections with 188 votes in favor -PSOE, United We Can (with one less deputy as Alberto Rodríguez has not been replaced), ERC, PNV, EH Bildu, PDeCat, Más País-Equo , Compromís, Nueva Canarias, Teruel Existe and PRC; one abstention -BNG- and 159 against -PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, UPN, Coalición Canaria and Foro-. Some specific sections – such as those of the Royal House or the Council of State – have had more votes for the support of the forces of the right.
The Government hopes that there will be no changes in the Senate
The project will now be sent to the Senate, where the Government assumes that the accounts will be ratified. Last year, the Upper House definitively approved the accounts by not introducing any changes. The Executive hopes that this time the same thing will happen.
The PNV has endorsed the Budgets, but He assured this Thursday that he would continue negotiating. “We have not closed a global agreement,” said the spokesman, Aitor Esteban. “We still have issues that interest us and we want to discuss,” he assured in reference to the arrival of the AVE to the Basque capitals. “The processing is done in both chambers,” he added. Unlike what happened before, their support was no longer essential after having tied the ‘yes’ of EH Bildu and ERC. However, for the PSOE the Basque nationalists are preferred partners.
Beyond merely budgetary issues, such as the equalization of the early retirement of mossos and rural agents or agreements on infrastructure, ERC gave its definitive support to the 2022 accounts after closing the audiovisual law with the Government, which will include a production quota on platforms such as Netflix of 6% in co-official languages. The spokeswoman for Junts in Congress, Miriam Nogueras, questioned the position of her partners in the Government by ensuring that they have gone from “touching independence with their fingers” to agreeing on “two films” in Catalan.
During the parliamentary debate, which has lasted for three days, the main reproach of the right wing has been the coalition’s policy of alliances by relying on pro-independence forces, such as ERC and EH Bildu. The harder scuffle It took place between the socialist deputy Odón Elorza and the Citizens Guillermo Díaz, after the latter alluded to socialists assassinated at the hands of the terrorist group ETA. “It’s okay now, stop using the victims of terrorism, who belong to everyone, to attack the left-wing government, to denigrate a budget. Don’t be so miserable, leave ETA’s terrorism alone. ETA disappeared, ETA didn’t “It’s here, there are no terrorists here. That’s fine. Here what there are are Francoists and some right-wing coup vocation, as in Brazil or as happened with Trump,” exclaimed the former mayor of San Sebastián.
The Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has defended the agreements reached with both ERC and EH Bildu for being related to social rights or infrastructures. “In no case does it have to do with any issue that the pro-independence forces that separate us from them know, such as the very conception of the unity of Spain,” he stated in an interview in La Sexta.