The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has saved in extremis municipal budgets for 2022 thanks to the agreement that has closed over the last few days with the four councilors of the Mixed Group, the former carmenistas who left Más Madrid and formed Recupera Madrid, before the door slammed by the Vox spokesperson in the capital, Javier Ortega Smith, after meeting him at the Palacio de Cibeles for just over an hour. The agreement saves the municipal government of PP and Ciudadanos from having to extend the current accounts on January 1. The budgets will be approved by the Plenary this week, predictably this Tuesday.
This Monday an extraordinary Finance commission was held, where the opinion of the project has gone ahead thanks to the four votes of the councilors of Recupera Madrid after the group of Marta Higueras decided to withdraw the amendment to the entirety that had been presented as a pressure. The councilors of this group announced at the beginning of the meeting that they would reject those of the other groups and only supported their own amendments.
Minutes after the commission began, the Mixed Group itself announced that at the end of the commission the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida; the vice mayor, Begoña Villacís, and the delegate of Finance and Personnel, Engracia Hidalgo, and the spokesperson for these councilors, Marta Higueras, would appear at a press conference to explain the agreement.
This commission was initially convened on December 21, but was suspended by surprise minutes after it began, while negotiations between the Mixed and the municipal government continued. It was reconvened for December 23, but, again, it was postponed. Shortly before the meeting began today, sources from this group acknowledged to this wording that both parties were “closing the last fringes of the pact.”
From the Government, the delegate of the Treasury, Engracia Hidalgo, had marked as a “red line” “to accept changes that entail a tax increase”, since the councilors of the Mixed, conditioned their support to subsidize the IBI to the properties in based on its equity value, not a linear reduction. “We want budgets that save those nominal subsidies, which are for disadvantaged people, for gender violence, for families with difficulties. We want a budget that saves those European funds,” the spokeswoman, Marta Higueras, had warned.
It is not the first time that the dissidents of Más Madrid have saved the mayor of Madrid from a major predicament. They already did so last August by voting in favor of the Mobility Ordinance that Voz refused to support.
More Madrid, the former colleagues of these four councilors, has maintained from the beginning its frontal rejection of the budgets, announcing the presentation of an amendment to the entirety. His spokeswoman, Rita Maestre, accused the mayor of giving “an embarrassing show” for insisting so much on the extreme right. “Madrid in recent weeks has been a set of rumors, a vaudeville of groups and corridors,” he said. In his opinion, Almeida has dedicated himself these days more “to being a spokesperson for a part of his party than to working for the people of Madrid.”
For his part, the spokesman for the Treasury of this same group, Miguel Montejo, in an article published in elDiario.es, did not hesitate to assure: “We are facing a payment of favors, it is simple. Once again, the group created in a illegal by Almeida, his “wild card” group (as the mayor himself calls it) helps him to approve bad budgets for Madrid “.
The mayor later reproached the dance of ‘courtships’ that he had held in order to approve the budgets, “first, that if only with his preferred partner, the far-right party Vox; then that no, what better with his invention, the mixed group , but then neither with the Mixed Group that they return with Vox, then Vox closes the door and they turn desperately to the Mixed Group “. “Everything indicates that it will be approved with the votes of four defected councilors”, which in his opinion “the only thing that reflects is the fragility of this mayor and the weakness of his government pacts, which are leaking everywhere.”
Nor has the PSOE liked Almeida’s strategy. Its spokesperson, Mar Espinar, said at first that they were open to dialogue but in view of the circumstances, they presented an amendment to the entirety. and they also criticized the mayor.