THE members of the Valencian regional government will be able to enjoy a more relaxed Christmas after they managed to approve the budget for 2021 in the plenary session yesterday (December 24).

Voting went according to plan, with a green light on behalf of the three parties that make up the so-called Pacte del Botanic executive – PSPV, Compromis and Podem – and the main opposition parties – PP and Vox – voting against.

The only wild card right up until the last moment was Ciudadanos (Cs), who have been oscillating between both blocks for some time and could have gone either way. Finally, Cs abstained in a move that, numbers-wise, had no real bearing as the Botanic have a clear majority in the regional parliament.

Monica Oltra and Ximo Puig (centre)
Monica Oltra and Ximo Puig (centre)

In fact, Compromís and Podem had firmly opposed the PSPV’s attempts to court the ‘orange party’, in a reflection of the situation on a national scale, where the PSOE was keen to get Cs on board for the national budget much to the chagrin of Podemos and ERC – an approach that also proved ultimately unfruitful.

The Valencian negotiations took place in an atmosphere of added tension due to ongoing discrepancies between PSPV leader and regional president Ximo Puig, and Compromís number one and vice-president Mónica Oltra.

Finally, despite disagreements on key issues and internal bickering, the three-way government remained united in the vote, although accusing words were said during speeches and the usual camaraderie was conspicuously absent.

This is the sixth consecutive regional budget passed by the Pacte del Botanic, no mean feat considering the enormous difficulties usually faced by autonomous and national governments in this regard.

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