Budgets with largest ever social spending approved by large majority in Spanish Congress and now await ratification by Senate
Sánchez gets 188 'ayes' with backing ERC, Bildu, PNV and PDECat, 12 more than needed
MadridPedro Sanchez got his first budget through Parliament. They have taken two years and still need to go through the Senate, but the Spanish government will certainly have this ball of oxygen until the end of this term. After a week without any surprises, in which the debate on partial amendments has been buried by other issues on the political agenda, the Congress of Deputies on Thursday approved all sections of the accounts for 2021 with the backing of the same parties as voted Sánchez in as president. The result is an expansive budget with record social spending and a significant increase in investment for Catalonia compared to the 2018 budget of the People's Party's Cristóbal Montoro.
At the last minute, ERC withdrew the amendment to leave the royal family - whose income is increased - and the constitutional court without a budged. This means the budget received the backing of ERC, PDECat, PNV, EH Bildu, Compromís, Más País, Nueva Canarias, PRC and Teruel Existe. An unprecedented absolute majority that Sánchez could hardly have imagined at the beginning of the legislature. A total of 188 votes in favour - in the end it was one vote short of the 189 agreed upon due to the absence of a deputy - 12 over the absolute majority. At the same time, the three right-wing parties - PP, Vox and Ciudadanos, which joined at the last minute - barricaded itself in the no, along with Junts per Catalunya, the CUP, Coalición Canaria and BNG, which in January facilitated Sánchez's investiture by abstaining. In this case there were no abstentions.