Regions to get veto in parliament
24 August 2004, MADRID – Regional governments will be given the right to veto some central government proposals in a reform of the Spanish parliament being drawn up by the Socialists, it emerged Tuesday.
24 August 2004
MADRID – Regional governments will be given the right to veto some central government proposals in a reform of the Spanish parliament being drawn up by the Socialists, it emerged Tuesday.
The so-called 'autonomous communities' like Catalonia and the Basque Country, will be allowed to use this veto to defend their rights.
Jordi Sevilla, Spain's minister of public affairs, said they could act if they felt central government policies harmed their language, culture, civil rights and their regional parliamentary rights.
The veto could also be used by regional governments if they believed State policy compromised the autonomous communities' financial affairs.
Javier Rojo, Socialist president of the Spanish Senate, or upper House of the parliament, praised the proposed reforms to be introduced by the Socialist administration.
He said they made "common sense" and would consolidate the position of Spain's regions after 25 years of democracy, following the introduction of the country's democratic Constitution in 1978.
However, he added that they should not be used to spark a row if one region was thought to have more "privileges" than another.
Rojo said: "They should not be against anyone but for the benefit of all, nor to weaken our country, but to strengthen Spain."
But the opposition Popular Party spokesman in the Senate, Pío García-Escudero, said the plan showed how "lost" the government was in terms of the reform of the Upper House, which was one of the Socialists' election pledges.
He added that it did not actually give the regional governments the right to stop legislation or policy in the Lower House, where the real power was.
Sentator Joseba Zubía, of the Basque nationalist party PNV, the proposal was "too good to be true".
Felipe Alcaraz, president of the left-wing United Left party, said it was "interesting, positive, but not enough".
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news