The project of General State Budgets for 2022 finally passed its last parliamentary process in Congress on Tuesday with even greater support than in the previous filters and garnered 281 votes in favor in the vote of its last amendment, compared to only 62 against and one abstention. Formally, it was an amendment introduced in the Senate for the promotion with 1.6 million euros of all the co-official languages of the State, which the PP supported to annoy the plans and calendar of the Executive. But the debate and the vote obtained greater symbolism, especially when the president, Pedro Sánchez, used the turn of the Government to launch some messages about what he lived and suffered so far, especially due to the pandemic and also about what he expects for next year. Sánchez asked for “serenity” and “agreements as broad as possible” for 2022. The PP only voted in favor of the language amendment and Pablo Casado later attacked Sánchez, the Government and its allies, and the economic situation in Spain.
The chief executive took advantage of this intervention by surprise in the last round of the debate to thank the support received to boost the public accounts for 2022 of up to 15 parliamentary groups; boasted of the 12 pacts forged in this period with the employers and social agents, and ended with a more political appeal, by asking for a greater “climate of serenity” and betting on “as many more and broader agreements as possible” to advance more in the recovery of the country. The president highlighted in his presentation that the Government will have, therefore, “in due time and form” some Budgets approved for the second consecutive year, something that has not happened in Spain since 2014, and listed that they will serve to “save jobs, protect the activity ”Economic and allow more decent retirement pensions. This budgetary stability indicates that the current Government can endure this term until the end, with other accounts in 2023 or with these extended.
In his speech before the plenary session, Sánchez alluded to the recent pact on the labor reform, which this Tuesday has been approved by decree in the Council of Ministers, to indicate that it will serve to overcome other “counter-reforms imposed by other majorities”, referring to the fact that the current one was carried out in 2012 by a government with an absolute majority of the PP and without other allies. That agreement, which has been re-sealed with the employers and the unions, served the president to formulate a plea on social pacts and “inclusive reforms.” Sánchez said that the Government and Spain will now need to face another way out and leave behind this crisis and “the darkest years of our lives” that these agreements “be as broad as possible.”
The president praised “the conduct, exemplary, resistance, solidarity and responsibility” of the Spanish in the face of the pandemic as “a lesson in true patriotism.” He reiterated that his strategy is to continue with the massive vaccination campaign, individual and collective protection, and institutional unity. And it ended with a new appeal for more and broader pacts for 2022, but in a climate of greater “serenity.” Those majorities that Sánchez called were registered in the vote on the amendment that was debated and finally approved on the Budgets. It had been registered in the Senate by the Compromís group, at the proposal of the Chunta Aragonesista, to protect and promote the use of all regional or minority languages in the autonomous communities of Galicia, Asturias, Euskadi, Navarra, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia and Balearics. The PP joined it to annoy and disrupt the Executive’s plans for the accounts to go ahead a week ago and not have to return to Congress, as happened this Tuesday.
The debate, however, did not take place in general on the content of that amendment or on its purpose, which almost all the groups supported, but on the ultimate behavior of the PP when using that parliamentary ruse of adding their votes to a proposal that normally would not have supported and with a content that is often harshly questioned in Parliament. Two weeks ago there was a discussion about the use of languages other than Spanish and the PP carried out very angry interventions, as it has done with respect to the controversial situation regarding the fulfillment of a sentence to teach 25% of the subjects in Spanish in Catalonia and the case of harassment of a minor in Canet de Mar.
As the session of Congress coincided this Tuesday with December 28, many of the speakers from different parties attributed to the PP the intention of making an “innocent”. But they did so with a particularly harsh tone, because they regretted that with this initiative another plenary session had to be scheduled in Congress in the middle of the sixth wave of the pandemic and with the obligation to bring dozens of deputies and staff to the Chamber. of the Cortes.
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The first spokesperson who questioned the true intentions of the PP with this proposal was that of EH Bildu, Mertxe Aizpurua, who blamed it on “a game of miscreants and freemasons” and made ironic about the lack of height and “little respect” for others groups by the PP to boast some of its spokesmen that with this initiative they had scored “a goal” for the Executive. Aizpurua did not waste the opportunity and projection of the debate, in which the president and many ministers were present, and only at the end the leader of the opposition, to alert Sánchez that the recent “historic agreement” presented on the labor reform should be take advantage more and better now in the parliamentary process to introduce some improvements. Bildu has already advanced, as PNV and ERC, that they are not in a position to validate that decree if the prevalence of regional agreements over state or company agreements is not established, as it is now.
The PNV spokesman, Aitor Esteban, used his turn to reiterate his positive and satisfied position towards the Budgets agreed with his training, especially for aspects such as the Minimum Vital Income or the arrival of several Basque capitals of the AVE, but also to attack against the PP. Esteban ironized that the alleged support of the PP for this amendment of languages opens a way to explore in the same line, for example in the future audiovisual law and quotas for multinational platforms. That contribution to the “linguistic wealth” of the PP was about which the spokesperson for United We Can, the Asturian Sofía Castañón, joked in the key of “innocent fool”.
The most scathing and forceful against the PP was the spokesman for Ciudadanos. Guillermo Díaz, still obviously upset by the recent breakdown of the Government in Castilla y León and the electoral advance there for 13-F, reproached what he called “tacticism and relativism” of that strategy only to annoy the PSOE and denigrated that behavior as own “of slaves to the stabbing maneuver.” The spokesperson for Compromís, Joan Baldoví, emphasized this idea of the PP’s “hooliganism” and compared it to “the tantrum of a garrulous, uncouth, showy and pissed-off child, who is taken away from the ball of power”.
ERC spokesman Gabriel Rufián, angered by having to go to a workplace in the middle of the sixth wave of the virus with as much mobility as Congress for nothing, accused the popular of “being troll” and of “trying to imitate Vox ”. Rufián asked the PSOE for more diligence to balance the votes in the Cortes and the Government to be more attentive and aware of its investiture partners if it does not want the supported vote of these Budgets to be the last of the legislature “but of its entire stage in La Moncloa ”.
Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, the spokesman for Vox, attacked everyone, towards the two sides of the Chamber, and the PP was reprimanded for betraying the Spaniards with those strange support. The popular spokesperson in this very symbolic session, however, was neither Casado nor the incumbent in Congress, Cuca Gamarra. The PP turned to a deputy with economic experience, but now somewhat marginalized by the leadership, Mario Garcés, who tried to explain the position of his party against the “reductionisms” of Vox in full compliance and for everything of the Constitution, even for promote all the languages of the State, and above all to denounce the validation of the public accounts project. A vein that Casado deepened a few minutes later, but already from the Courtyard: “These Budgets are the last straw for recovery with more taxes and waste. They are born dead and are a massive fraud for maintaining false forecasts that the IMF, the OECD, the INE and the Bank of Spain reject. And in exchange for a blackmail souk from Sánchez’s radical partners for retaining power ”.