Socialist budget 'a wasted opportunity'
27 October 2004, MADRID - The head of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, claimed the Socialist government's budget for 2005 was a "wasted opportunity".
27 October 2004
MADRID - The head of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, claimed the Socialist government's budget for 2005 was a "wasted opportunity".
Rajoy, president of the conservative Popular Party, told the Spanish parliament the Socialist government's budget lacked "ambition" and was "conformist".
In a debate over next year's budget, the PP leader said the figures which Economy Minister Pedro Solbes used were "not credible".
He went on to accuse the Socialist government of doing "hidden deals" with other opposition parties, in particular, the Catalan nationalist party ERC.
Rajoy said he did not believe Solbes' estimate that the national surplus would amount to 0.1 percent of the GNP next year, then increase to 0.2 percent in 2006 and 0.4 percent in 2007.
He said these figures would suggest that there were no social problems in Spain and the government did not have to spend public money solving them.
Rajoy added that he thought the Socialist budget would mean deficit, public debt, unstructured economics and "millions" of unemployed.
"This is not the budget that Spanish society needs," he said. "This is an wasted opportunity."
But Solbes defended the budget, claiming its aim was to create an expanding economy which was tough and sustainable.
He said the government wanted to do this with budgetary stability and by controlling public spending.
The government rejected five amendments proposed by the opposition.
The budget was passed, with the support other left-wing opposition parties, the former communist United Left and the ERC, with 170 of the 350 votes of the deputies in the Spanish parliament's lower house.
The budget will be ratified by Spain's upper house, the Congress, by 31 December.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news