Parliament rejects budget for first time
14 December 2004, MADRID - The Spanish senate has rejected the new Socialist government's budget proposals for 2005 after backing a raft of opposition motions against the bill.
14 December 2004
MADRID - The Spanish senate has rejected the new Socialist government's budget proposals for 2005 after backing a raft of opposition motions against the bill.
The move is a setback for the government of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, elected in April but lacking an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament, as it seeks to pass its first budget.
Galician nationalists from the northwest led opposition to the budget and were backed by senators from the conservative opposition Popular Party, moderate Basque nationalists and Catalan conservatives.
It was the first time the senate had failed to back a budget proposal since democratic rule was restored to Spain in 1978.
The bill will now be sent back to the lower house where Zapatero will have to find enough allies to push it through with majority support.
Finance Minister Pedro Solbes insisted the proposed budget served Spain's economic interests, but Galician senators wanted more funds to help deal with the environmental fallout of the 2002 sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off the Galician coast.
A Socialist Party spokesman said public spending had to be spread fairly across all of Spain's 17 autonomous regions.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news