It is Thursday, December 2, and Mónica García, leader of the opposition to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, explodes. “They have put a sanitary cordon to the (partial) amendments of the groups that represent a million and a half of Madrid”, he complains in the control session to the Government of the Assembly, where PP and Vox have agreed to veto all the ideas of the left for your Budgets. It does not matter that the registration period has not expired. It does not matter that this implies that the two partners decide without having read the content of the proposals of the rest of the parties. PP and Vox specify the black-on-white veto in their agreement to carry out the accounts. “You are sick of sectarianism,” emphasizes the leader of Más Madrid. “They reject, without looking, a health center in Las Tablas, an institute in Parla, or an automotive factory in the South,” he laments. And the anger breaks out in the Chamber.
Thus, at a stroke, the PP and Vox discard the 3,711 proposals to improve the accounts registered by Podemos (1,655), Más Madrid (1,581) and PSOE (475). There is no other reason than its origin: with the left, or because of an inheritance. No matter what their content is, whether the amendments have some ideological charge, or whether they are totally utilitarian. They are rejected outright.
The PP justifies that the same has happened in Congress with its partial amendments to the general state budgets. However, the Government of Pedro Sánchez has not accepted only a small minority of those of its parliamentary partners: in the project it has ended up including one of Citizens.
In parallel, Vox has maintained a radical, and even contradictory, position in the two areas of negotiation. First, he resigned from presenting partial amendments to the state project, arguing that this is playing the game of the Pedro Sánchez government. And then, he vetoed the left from presenting partial amendments to the regional one, arguing that this would prevent its influence from diluting the project of the Díaz Ayuso government.
These are examples of some of the 3,700 proposals to improve Madrid that the two partners have rejected, summarizing the total polarization of Madrid politics.
More Madrid. No fees in FP, electricity in Cañada Real. Mónica García’s party proposes to eliminate the enrollment fees in the higher VET cycles, to build an institute in Arganda, San Fermín, Coslada, Rivas, Valdebebas or Valdemoro; nursery and primary education centers in Tres Cantos; and multiple infrastructures for nursery and vocational schools. The construction of residences for the elderly in Rivas, Móstoles or Madrid capital is proposed, and that of health centers in Fuenlabrada, Parla, Móstoles or Valdemoro; the creation of reception flats for LGTBI youth expelled from their family; or increase the item that finances the minimum insertion income. In addition, the party that leads the opposition is committed to increasing the atmospheric quality control stations to include all municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants; make an inventory of the asbestos present in the Community; or to improve the electricity grid of the Cañada Real, where there has been no electricity for more than a year, so it is also requested to buy or transfer electric generators and solar panels.
PSOE. Ending the drama of Metro line 7B. Juan Lobato’s group has presented 476 proposals with a total value of 647 million to change the accounts. Of that total, 141.5 million would be dedicated to addressing the problems generated in the municipality of San Fernando de Henares by Metro line 7B (which has affected the foundations of 200 homes, according to the City Council, forcing the demolition of several buildings and the eviction of 24 families), in addition to unifying transportation rates or improving roads. The PSOE also proposes to use 123 million to reduce the surgical waiting list or comply with the oral health law, which in theory allows children between 7 and 16 years old to go to the dentist for free. Finally, the Socialist deputies proposed to dedicate 60 million to the construction of educational centers for primary, secondary and vocational training, “to alleviate the lack of public places in the region, with thousands of people having to attend private places.”
We can. Reopening of primary care emergencies, inspect tourist apartments. Carolina Alonso’s party demands the immediate reopening of the 37 Primary Care Emergency Services (SUAP) that have been closed for more than 600 days (since March 30, 2020); equip SUMMA 112 with more staff and build health centers; allocate one million euros for more tourist apartment inspectors to work; create a Bus-HOV lane on the M-607 road and educational infrastructures throughout the region; expand the public network for education from 0 to 6 years; and multiply the minimum insertion income. It is also proposed that the salaries of the president, vice president and directors of Madrid cannot be higher than those of their counterparts in the national government (which, for example, implies reducing Díaz Ayuso’s salary by 18,000 euros). Or dedicate the funds foreseen for bullfighting that were going to be transferred to the municipalities (100,000 euros) to the construction of the Memorial for the Victims of Terrorism approved by the Madrid Assembly.
None of those proposals will see the light. The majority of PP and Vox will be imposed in the work of the commission so that they do not alter a project valued at 23,000 million euros, and with an indelible stamp: the budgets are only for the two right-wing parties in the Chamber.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.