PNV, Esquerra and EH Bildu do not ensure their support for the Accounts and threaten to join the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos
There is still time and the general feeling is that there will be an agreement to carry out the next General State Budgets even if it comes on the horn. It will be a negotiation against the clock for which the main parliamentary partners of the Government are already preparing. “This is how Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE negotiates,” lament PNV and Esquerra, who openly complain about the lack of serious contacts, without the exchange of documents. And they warn that their vote next Thursday with the amendments to the entirety is not guaranteed. “All the stages – warn – are open.”
Less than 48 hours after the deadline for submitting amendments to all the Accounts – the legislative instrument will return them to the Government – it is not ruled out that neither of the two formations may even present an alternative project, a sign that the contacts they are not going well. A step that the PP, Vox and Ciudadanos will take, to which the CUP could also join, which has already ruled out any negotiation if the Government does not accept a self-determination referendum in Catalonia.
Despite having the clock against him, the PNV has armed itself with patience and will try to negotiate until the last minute. But he admits that the possibility of presenting an amendment to the entirety “remains on the table,” as the president of the nationalist formation in Vizcaya, Itxaso Atutxa, recalled this Monday.
Although there have been some meetings, at the moment there is no agreement because, according to parliamentary sources, there are still previous unresolved issues from last year’s budget pact, some “non-compliance that must be channeled” before facing the negotiation of public accounts to 2022. Among the pending issues are the transfer of the management of the Minimum Living Income, promised in October 2020, and the burying of the high-speed train stations in Vitoria and Bilbao.
In Esquerra the “tranquility” with which the Executive approaches the negotiations is of great concern. Their parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, has stated on several occasions that they maintain “distant positions” and that they remain in the no, although they accept that they do not have much room for negotiation since if they knock down the Budgets they will bury the dialogue table on the Catalan conflict, the flagship project of Pere Aragonès.
In order to favor the negotiating climate, the Republicans demand that there be a prior commitment to comply with the investments budgeted in last year’s Accounts and that there be a shielding of Catalan in the new audiovisual law. They also demand greater specificity in the new historical memory law, one of the star projects of former Vice President Carmen Calvo, to substantially raise the Corporation Tax and more commitments for pensions.
With Ciudadanos out of the budget equation, the Government needs to enlist the support of EH Bildu for the budget project to see the light. An inherently delicate negotiation, which has been clouded after the words of Arnaldo Otegi relating support for the Accounts with the departure of the ETA members who are still in prison. We have 200 inside. And those 200 have to get out of jail. If for that we have to vote the Budgets, then we will vote them, “said the leader of the Abertzale left in an internal party ceremony.
Since the indepentista formation, they have disassociated their claims about the gang’s prisoners from the negotiation of the public accounts, something that, on the other hand, the Executive has assured that it is neither on the table nor does it intend to negotiate. The negotiators of EH Bildu have put on the table, beyond the debate on income, expenses and investments, the repeal of the labor reform, that of the ‘gag law’ and that of official secrets.