What the government needs to do to pass 2019 budget
1.7bn more for social policies and more taxes on high earners, main demands of opposition party closest to supporting spending plan
The Catalan government is likely to have a hard time getting the 2019 budget through Parliament –the pro-independence CUP party, whose votes made Quim Torra's swearing in as president possible, has already said 'no' to the spending plan.
With only the government parties in favor, a handful of votes outside the pro-independence bloc are needed for the budget to succeed –but is this possible at all?
With the unionist Ciutadans and People's Party ruled out as possible allies, the Socialists have so far been ambiguous on the issue. The only ones open to giving the required support is Catalunya en Comú-Podem, which is non-aligned on the independence issue.
The party will meet the economy minister on Thursday afternoon to discuss the budget, which is due to be presented by the executive in December, and it has several demands.
1.7 bn increase in spending on social policies
The party requests a 1.7 billion euro increase in spending on social policies in order to "reverse" the cuts made during the financial crisis.
"The government must stop scorning doctors and students"
Joan Mena · Catalunya en Comú spokesman
They believe that fighting tax fraud and supporting the Spanish budget will contribute to getting these extra resources to be spent on social policies, while they also favor raising the tax burden.
Increasing income tax
According to Catalunya en Comú-Podem, increasing income tax on people earning more than 90,000 euros gross per year will help, along with amending the inheritance and donations tax.
The meeting will take place in the middle of a week in which medical staff, university students and public servants are on strike, which has led to several demonstrations by doctors, nurses and firefighters, among others.
"Listening to the protests"
Catalunya en Comú's spokesman, Joan Mena, said on Thursday that one of the conditions they will impose on the talks is for the government to "listen to the protests."
"They must stop scorning doctors and students," he added.
According to the left-wing party, it would help for the pro-independence political forces to support the Spanish budget. Even though they have already said this won't happen, Mena said his party will not automatically veto the Catalan spending plan should the Spanish one fail.