Opposition grows impatient with government over budget

Catalunya en Comú Podem puts forward two bills, while Socialists urge president Torra to call election if he lacks parliamentary support for spending plan

CatECP offifcials speak to the press at the Catalan parliament on February 19 2019 (by Mariona Puig)
CatECP offifcials speak to the press at the Catalan parliament on February 19 2019 (by Mariona Puig) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 19, 2019 06:25 PM

Despite the government announcing on Tuesday that president Quim Torra will appear in Parliament next week to explain the 2019 budget, the left-wing Catalunya en Comú Podem party (CatECP) has said it will wait no longer and has put forward two fiscal bills.

Spokesperson Susanna Segovia said the party had proposed two bills, one on income tax and one on succession tax, and she regretted the government had not given the party any idea about the budget's contents, despite its willingness to work with the executive.

CatECP's decision comes as interior minister Miquel Buch announced on Tuesday that Torra and finance minister Pere Aragonès will appear in parliament next week to explain the budget, even though the cabinet has yet to approve the spending plan.

Buch, who was standing in for government spokesperson Elsa Artadi, in turn attending the Supreme Court trial of independence leaders, also said that the "door is open" for CatECP to resume the talks on the budget.

"Pass the budget, or call an election," say Socialists

Meanwhile, the Catalan Socialists (PSC) said on Tuesday that if Torra does not have enough parliamentary support to pass the budget, then he should call an election, "just like [Spanish] president Pedro Sánchez did," according to PSC spokesperson Eva Granados.

The spokeswoman went on to remind Torra that not only will he have to explain the contents of the budget during his appearance in the chamber next week, which the party hopes will be "coherent," but he "will have to find partners" for a parliamentary majority, or call an election.