The photo was ready. The full Government had gone to the Senate to proclaim the results of the vote on the General State Budgets of 2022. The plan was that no change would be accepted in the Upper House and they would be approved definitively. But the surprise acceptance of an amendment by Compromís has overturned that plan and they will have to return to Congress for its final approval, as reported by Cadena SER and socialist sources have confirmed to elDiario.es. The vote resulted in 139 votes in favor, 117 against and six abstentions. Congress will now have to establish a date for the vote on that amendment – which will lead to the final endorsement of the accounts – before the end of the year so that they enter into force “in a timely manner.”
The Government wanted, as last year, the public accounts to go ahead directly in the Senate, shortening the procedure and not having to receive the definitive endorsement of Congress. The Executive had everything ready with its parliamentary allies, but the approval of an amendment to Compromís worth 1.6 million euros for the “promotion and dissemination of languages protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, to the Autonomous Communities of Galicia, Asturias, Euskadi, Navarra “forces the budget project to return to the Lower House, although only that amendment will be voted on, according to government sources. The amendment has gone ahead thanks to the votes of PP and ERC.
“If it serves for the PP to reconsider its policy of promoting co-official languages, welcome to it,” Pedro Sánchez ironized on his departure from the hemicycle. The President of the Government has left the Senate before the results of the vote were announced, which were scheduled to be read, in his presence, at 4:00 p.m. before the control session began. However, the resumption of the plenary session has been delayed until 4:15 p.m. and has started directly with the questions of the senators to the Executive. The president of the Upper House, Ander Gil, has proceeded to read the results after 6 pm.
During the debate in the Senate on Tuesday, criticism of the Government had been produced precisely because of that strategy of not having negotiated any change. Beyond questioning the economic figures of the project, the senator of the PP José Vicente Marí has regretted that the Government vetoes “all the amendments that do not dance the water.” “What they want is for me to pass through here as quickly as possible, and if something occurs to the majority, we veto it and cancel it. We have done nothing more than pitch in (…) proposing solutions and amendments,” he assured Mari.
Also other parties such as Ciudadanos or JxCat have reproached the Executive for their intention not to accept any proposal. “One more year we have some Budgets in which our opinion does not paint anything. We are excellent senators and senators, some are excited about this, but know that we are useless because not a comma will be changed,” complained the Junts Josep Lluís Cleríes representative. “Our vote is worth nothing,” he reiterated, to settle: “Today false budgets will be approved because they will not be executed.”
From Ciudadanos, Miguel Sánchez had regretted that the Senate had not been able to “change a single comma” of the bill. “Nothing new under the sun for a president who has made the decree his form of politics, who does not respect the separation of powers and whose partners are dedicated to pointing out uncomfortable journalists,” he said. “For the opposition we have no choice but to denounce loud and clear that these Budgets bury the greatest opportunity that Spain has had in the last 40 years,” he added.
One of those modifications sought by some groups, including the PNV, could have been approved by the Plenary since it had options to reach the majority. It was an amendment to lower the VAT of hairdressers to 10%. The Government made use of its option of veto since the law allows it to prevent that amendments are voted that affect the income of the State. But the Senate Board, where the majority depends on the PNV vote, rejected the veto. The Executive presented a request for controversy, which has finally been accepted by the president of the Senate, the socialist Ander Gil.
The PSOE calls it a “tantrum” and opens to vote in favor
At the end of the plenary session, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, described the favorable vote of the PP for the amendment as a “tantrum to be noticed”. “It has no value or importance,” Montero said in the halls of the Senate. “The PP tried to boycott the arrival of European funds and has tried from day one to boycott the Budgets,” he lamented. Regarding the delay in the approval of the accounts, he said: “We don’t care today or next week, they will come into force in a timely manner.”
Montero has said that what happened in the Senate is an “anecdote” and that “nothing is understood” because the PP first “oppose” the defense of co-official languages and now they vote this amendment in the Senate “to try prolong the discussion, but do not get anything useful. ”
In fact, the minister has opened the door to vote in favor of the amendment in Congress, the only vote on the matter that will have to be held to finally approve the 2022 Budgets. “We have no problem with the amendment, there is no problem in approve it and get the project out, which is what the country needs, “he said. “On day 1 there will be Budgets despite all the Chinese on the road,” he concluded.