The Day in Spain #5



PP hints at late August or early September for Rajoy’s confidence vote

The conservatives’ Vice-Secretary of Communication, Pablo Casado, said in an interview today that the last week of August or the first week of September would be “perfect for a confidence debate”. However, he didn’t say whether Rajoy would stand for election in the Parliament if he doesn’t have enough support.

The PM in Spain is elected in Parliament, following a two-round vote system. The candidate is appointed by the King, and he needs to be supported by an absolute majority of MPs (in the first round) or a simple majority (in the second round). Mariano Rajoy has not guaranteed that he will stand for a confidence debate if he doesn’t have enough support beforehand.

This legal loophole means that Spain could technically stay in a political limbo indefinitely, as the mechanism for calling a fresh round of elections only kicks off after a confidence debate is held. Without that starting point, the King and the PM can’t dissolve the Parliament nor call the citizens to the polls.

PSOE and PP face off about the possibility to initiate the Budget process

PSOE has criticized that the temporary PP-led government doesn’t initiate the proceedings to establish the national expense ceiling and deficit goal, the first step towards the approval of the National Budget law. The PP says that a temporary government can’t legally do it, while PSOE argues that it is, but that PP is using the Budget deadline to blackmail the socialists.

The National Budget law, which establishes how the Spanish taxpayers’ money will be spent the following year, must be submitted to the Parliament by the government on or before 30 September. However, a temporary government can’t take that step. PSOE argues that the previous steps, such as the national expense ceiling and deficit goal can be done in advance.

Ciudadanos maintains abstention vote, but will meet PP again next week

PP’s Pablo Casado said this morning that PM Mariano Rajoy and Ciudadanos’ Albert Rivera will meet again next week. Casado has not announced an exact date or the goal of the meeting. Yesterday, Albert Rivera said that his party and PP have established a “permanent channel of communication”.

Centre-right party Ciudadanos has vowed to abstain in the second round of an eventual confidence debate for Mariano Rajoy’s re-election as PM. PP is hopeful that Rivera’s party can change the direction of its vote to a ‘Yes’ which would bring Rajoy much closer to a second term at La Moncloa.

However, and even if Rivera’s 32 MPs vote ‘Yes’, the conservatives still need PSOE’s abstention or the support of conservative Basque or Catalan nationalists. Rajoy’s party is hopeful that bringing Ciudadanos on board will put pressure on PSOE, as some of the most conservative socialist leaders are voicing the concern over the deadlock.


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