Catalan pro-independence party ERC paves way for Spanish 2022 budget

Spokesman at Parliament of Catalan pro-independence ERC party, Gabriel Rufian. [EPA-EFE / Emilio Naranjo]

On Tuesday, Catalan independence party, the Republican Left of Catalonia (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) said it will vote for the Spanish budget for 2022, paving the way for its approval before the end of the year,  EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.

With its green light, Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña paved the way for the final go-ahead of the budget, after the Spanish government, a coalition of the socialist party (PSOE) and left-wing Unidas Podemos (United We Can), secured the support of 181 MPs.

The government’s spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, on Tuesday welcomed the agreement, making the 2022 budget “viable”, she said.

Finance Minister María Jesús Montero presented the draft 2022 budget to parliament on 13 October. It has a record spending ceiling of €196.142 billion, fuelled by the EU’s recovery fund.

Spain has been allocated €140 billion over the next six years from the €750 billion EU recovery fund.

According to political analysts, the approval of the 2022 budget is expected to secure the survival of the ruling coalition until the end of 2023.

Social spending reaches a record high, with €248.4 billion (3.6% more than in 2021) and includes more than €40 billion (9.6% more than 2021) in investments and capital transfers.

Rodríguez stressed that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a “catharsis” to improve Spain’s economy, currently overly dependent on tourism and services, by boosting digitalisation.

ERC’s support for the budget has been unlocked following an agreement on an audiovisual law, which, according to ERC’s spokesman in the Parliament, Gabriel Rufián, will mean that 6% of the total content offered by all audiovisual platforms in Spain will be in co-official languages, among them Catalan, EFE reported.

(Fernando Heller | EuroEFE.EURACTIV.es)

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