The fiasco of the PP in Andalusia, where Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla has not achieved the support of Vox to approve the Budgets of 2022, puts the Government of the Community of Madrid on alert. Isabel Díaz Ayuso also depends on the extreme right to approve the first public accounts in the region since 2019. And a month after the regional Executive announced its project, there is still no agreement. Consequently, the PP is forced to negotiate against the clock with Vox. Next Thursday the amendments to the entirety will be voted, which will foreseeably bring down the two parties together to start a tense one-month countdown: the deadline to close a hypothetical pact and avoid the third year in a row with budgets extended in Madrid is the 22 from December.
Thursday, November 4. Díaz Ayuso takes the floor at the Madrid Assembly. Nobody knows it yet, but the president of the Community of Madrid is going to voluntarily dynamite the mirage built around her 4-M electoral victory. Promoted as a manager with free hands to do and undo at will, the conservative leader “humbly” asks for Vox’s support for the Budgets. It is the verbalization of the stubborn parliamentary arithmetic, which does not change because of many adjectives that surround it: all the projects of the PP depend on Vox, since it does not have an absolute majority in the regional Assembly, nor any other possible partner than the extreme right.
And that has a price. As Vox wants to repeal the two LGTBI laws in the region, Díaz Ayuso is willing to modify them, eliminating the articles that establish the reversal of the burden of proof (the accused of discriminating with “reasonable, well-founded or proven facts or indications” is the one who must provide justification for what was done). As Vox wants the Administration to pay for two non-compulsory educational stages to make them free (nursery and high school), Díaz Ayuso negotiates to expand the funds for nursery checks. And as Vox claims to have identified 700 million euros of superfluous spending in the accounts, the two parties are reviewing the items one by one to put the scissors to a record project: 23,000 million euros in spending.
“We are in negotiations. The works continue. The agreement does not yet exist, ”Íñigo Henríquez de Luna, deputy spokesperson for Vox in the Madrid Assembly, warned this Wednesday. “We hope we can get it and get to the 21st [primera jornada del pleno doble para aprobar las cuentas] with an agreement for the benefit of the people of Madrid ”.
“Documents and opinions are being exchanged, the evolution of the negotiation is undoubtedly positive,” Enrique Ossorio, the regional government spokesman, added.
The push and pull of the two parties on account of the Budgets reflect what the Madrid legislature is being: a constant storm in a glass of water. Until now, Vox has publicly pointed out everything that separates him from the PP, and then has supported him with little consideration.
It happened with the legal modification that has allowed the conservative formation to control Telemadrid: the extreme right announced that its bet was to close the public company, but then allowed the rule change. The same happened with the endorsement of the provisional administrator of the company, the controversial José Antonio Sánchez: Vox showed his anger that the appointment had not been consulted, and then approved it in exchange for a 10% cut in the financing of the entity that Deep down, he also wanted the PP.
Wrapped up in this dynamic, the two parties are now facing several parallel negotiations. On the one hand, there are two government projects to reduce all income tax tranches by half a point and abolish local rates that represent 0.02% of collection. On the other, the equality law promoted by Vox, in which the word “woman” is not mentioned even once, and in which the PP sees signs of unconstitutionality. And as the icing on the cake, the regional budgets.
Madrid has had the accounts extended since 2019, when they were approved by the Government then presided over by Ángel Garrido with the votes of PP and Cs. In her first two years as president, Díaz Ayuso did not even prepare a budget project, noting that it was impossible to agree on PP, Cs and Vox. Once the 4-M elections have been held, one of these variables has disappeared, since Ignacio Aguado’s party has no representation in the Assembly. But the underlying problem remains: Díaz Ayuso does not have full autonomy and all the proposals that he takes to Parliament must pass through the Vox screen. Also the budgets, whose approval tests the president’s ability to achieve big deals.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.