PRIME Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has seen his draft budget for 2022 approved by Spain’s lower house of parliament.
Thursday’s Congress vote was a success for the left-wing coalition government who got support from small regional parties for the package.
The 188-156 vote victory was sealed by support from one of the Catalan separatist parties, the ERC.
The small parties all extracted concessions to gain their support.
The ERC gained a change in the audiovisual law that means streamers have to meet a quota of regional languages.
The left-wing ‘Mas Pais’ party got a €5 million budget line for secondary schools to hire psychologiosts.
In the Valencian Community, the Compromis party squeezed out better funding for the local Cercanias rail network.
In a coincidence, the 188 delegates who supported the budget was exactly the same number as last December’s successful budget vote.
The bill will now go to the Senate for possible amendments ahead of a final vote in Congress next month.
The Senate last year made no changes but that is highly unlikely to be repeated this time round. now goes to the Senate.
EU COVID recovery fund money will boost Spain’s coffers by around €40 billion next year.
The European Commission expects Spain to grow by 5.5% in 2022, a fall on the previous 6.3% growth forecast.
The government though believes that 7% growth is possible next year, perhaps with Pedro Sanchez keeping half an eye out on calling an early general election.
He will keep a close eye on the PSOE Socialist party standings in the opinion polls, which have shown them constantly ahead of the right-of-centre, Partido Popular, but nowhere near enough to form a majority government.