Junqueras hopeful despite CUP budget veto
The radical left CUP has decided to table an amendment to the entire draft budget that the Catalan Vice President and Minister of Economy, Oriol Junqueras, presented on Tuesday. Junqueras, however, said there is still time for “dialogue and negotiations” and told journalists that he hopes the new budget will be passed in Parliament and that there will be no need to extend the last one. The CUP, which has an agreement of parliamentary stability with Junts pel Sí, justified its veto on the budget saying that the proposal doesn’t reverse “privatisations and cuts” nor show “a clear and frontal disobedience” to the Spanish Government and the financial markets.
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Vice President and Minister of the Economy, Oriol Junqueras, is hopeful that the Government budget will pass despite the CUP veto on his first draft. “We still have time for dialogue and negotiations. I’m sure passing the budget is much better than an extension”, he told journalists. The radical left-wing pro-independence CUP is tabling an amendment to the entire draft budget presented by Junqueras last week. According to CUP Member of Parliament Eulàlia Reguant, the draft doesn’t show “a clear and frontal disobedience” to the Spanish Government deficit targets, doesn’t “reverse privatisations and cuts” and still shows a dependency on the financial markets. “We should stop paying debt and interest”, she said.
Oriol Junqueras said that the draft budget can be “debated and improved” during the upcoming plenary sessions in the Catalan Parliament, but also urged others to “make an effort” and show “a capacity for negotiation”. “A budget that the CUP can support must show a clear and frontal disobedience to the impositions of the Spanish State, and this means disobeying the deficit targets, the suspension of laws and the suspension of the tax collection systems”, said Reguant to CNA. She also referred to the need to forget about the financial markets. “This means not paying the debt nor the interest”, she pointed out.
The first secretary of the Catalan Socialists (PSC), Miquel Iceta, regretted the fighting between the Junts pel Sí government and its allies in parliament, the CUP. “I think it’s irresponsible for the Government to table the budget without negotiating with any other parliamentary groups, not even with the one that supported its investiture”, he stressed. “It’s a big mistake”, he added.
The leader of the Catalunya Sí que es Pot coalition, Lluís Rabell, also regretted the situation, saying however that his party has some of the same concerns as the CUP. “Now we’ll have to see how strongly they defend their position”, he said. At the same time, Rabell admitted that the Catalan Government doesn’t have “much space for manoeuvre” considering its financial situation.
The Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, reminded the CUP that social rights “can be better defended” with a new budget than with an extension of the last one. In a conciliatory stance, Munté said that an agreement is possible in order to have “an ambitious budget, both nationally and socially”. The President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, said that she was also hopeful. “I urgeall parties to show responsibility and a sense of country”, she affirmed. “Responsibility is not a single group issue, it’s something everyone has to show” she said, pointing out that only through this will parties be able to implement urgently needed measures such as those debated in a recent plenary about poverty.
According to the agreement reached between Junts pel Sí and the CUP, the radical left-wing party has to offer parliamentary stability to the Government and offer the support of at least two of its ten MPs on all important decisions. In exchange for this, the presidential candidate of Junts pel Sí, who was Artur Mas, stepped aside and in his place Carles Puigdemont was invested as President.