The EU agreement for reconstruction funds has encouraged the Government, which thus receives an oxygen balloon in the form of 140,000 million euros – of which 72,700 are transfers -, 11% of Spanish GDP in 2019, to make facing the economic and social reconstruction after the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither Pedro Sánchez nor his cabinet have hidden the euphoria, which has led the Finance Minister, María Jesús Montero, to ensure that the European Council pact it is “determining” and “definitive” for the General State Budgets for 2021 in which the plans and projects that will be financed with that money must be reflected. Although the Executive has already begun the internal process of preparing the public accounts for the next year, Montero’s intention is to present them once the supports are tied so that they can move forward.
The Government believes that the EU agreement is “final” for budgets and tightens the PP
Despite the fact that Brussels has given the coalition a break with what Sánchez has considered a “historic” agreement, the Government is aware that the approval of the budgets is vital for their continuity and that the defeat in their processing is not One option. In fact, the presentation of separate amendments to the entirety of the 2019 budgets by the pro-independence forces led to the electoral advance on April 28. But the circumstances were completely different from now, that the legislature has just begun.
That is why from the Government they warn that their intention for the moment is to negotiate the budgets before taking them to Congress. The Minister of Finance has always said that her intention is to present them “in time and form”, that is, on September 30, regardless of the electoral calendar in Catalonia; but the Executive conditions, at the same time, that plan to have the supports previously closed. “It will depend on the conversations with the groups,” admit government sources: “The intention is to present them with the support. In this scheme we are moving today.”
“If we do not have the capacity to reach an agreement, we will have to continue talking until it is achieved,” say those same sources. However, the injection of the EU has been economic, but it has also increased optimism in the cabinet. In the press conference after the Council of Ministers meeting, Montero explained that it would not make sense for Spain – with the approval of the majority of Parliament – to request funds from Europe and then not put them into practice through the tool. they have for it: budgets. “It would be like despising that economic capacity that the EU has put in,” he said.
The Minister of Finance took the opportunity to pressure Pablo Casado to enter that equation at an unusual moment for the country after the passage of the coronavirus pandemic and the threat of a new wave. “We encourage the PP to become infected with this spirit of collaboration and consensus. This government is not being supported but contributing to the recovery of this country,” said Montero, who intends to pick up the phone to speak to all the groups with representation. parliamentary. However, understanding with the main opposition party seems impossible judging by the signals emitted by those of Casado and how complex it has been to negotiate the conclusions of the reconstruction commission, which do not even have legal or legislative effects.
The Government has also played several gangs in recent weeks as a result of the surprise alliance it reached with Ciudadanos for the latest extensions of the state of alarm. That understanding led Inés Arrimadas to open the door to second the public accounts and the socialist part of the Government to stop pointing out those in the investiture as priority partners for budgets. However, in recent days it has resumed the path of progressive forces for the budget project. Did the number two of the PSOE, Adriana Lastra, in her last press conference and the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, in an interview in elDiario.es“We are a progressive government. Another thing is that we have had to live the exception of decreeing the alarm and the extension of the decree every fortnight,” Calvo pointed out. We are a progressive government that relies on the progressive parties of the Chamber and all those who want to understand at some point that politics cannot be of blockade and continuous destruction. ”
Although the Executive assures that it will work on budgets regardless of Quim Torra’s decision on the Catalan electionsHe does look askance at the electoral calendar in Catalonia. Government sources maintain that the ERC will have to “reflect” since, according to the socialists, the progressive agreements they can reach serve them in the face of their electorate. “Each one has to consider how he gets to those elections. ERC has benefited from agreements with the government,” say those sources, who stress that the Catalan republicans “have not said that they are not going to sit down.”
Indeed, Gabriel Rufián maintains his intention to negotiate the accounts, although Republicans acknowledge that the possibility of holding the Catalan elections complicates his eventual support. However, it is not the only warning: ERC has been shaking the government for weeks its approach to Citizens and some decisions of the coalition such as the lowering of expectations of some of the measures previously agreed -such as the repeal of the labor reform- in the conclusions of the reconstruction commission in order to obtain the greatest parliamentary support.
A derogation that from the leg of the United Podemos Government ensures that they do not resign. This same Tuesday, the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, assured in a conference that the European reconstruction plan is not conditioned to maintain the labor reform of the PP and that its dismantling is still on its agenda.
The last warning in this direction was made by Rufián this Tuesday in Congress, during the debate on the conclusions in plenary and after the agreement in the European Council: “Does anyone believe that the hundreds of millions of the EU are free? Nobody can think that all this has a counterpart? We suspect it. The counterpart can be the following: cuts in the Budgets. And everyone can think that it is much easier to negotiate budget cuts with Citizens than with ERC. Here’s the presence of Citizens in the equation. ” “We hope we are not right,” he said.
For now, the government maintains that it is not in its plan to make cuts and that European funds reinforce that position. “Thanks to this program, the Government will be able to promote an ambitious reform plan, oriented with the strategic lines of the EU, which coincide with the priorities that the president himself established during the legislature and at the beginning of the legislature, that is, a bet for green, digital, inclusive growth, which is committed to innovation, human capital training, science, vocational training and education, ”said the spokeswoman on Tuesday.
Government sources assure that the EU agreement will not, therefore, pose a problem with the coalition’s ally, Unidas Podemos, and that the reforms proposed in the government program, such as the fiscal reform, which includes taxes such as financial transactions, the Google Rate or the fight against fraud. Montero also denied that the EU has imposed conditions related to the repeal of the labor reform, which were only “pretensions” of some countries, and assured that the Government’s objective is maintained according to the schedule allowed by the pandemic and always within the framework of the social dialogue. “Here only Holland and the PP have talked about labor reform,” they settled in Moncloa.