Socialists accused of enticing congressmen to back minister

30th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2007, Madrid - After barely surviving a vote of no confidence brought against Public Works Minister Magdalena Álvarez by a coalition of Catalan congressmen on Tuesday, Álvarez's Socialist Party (PSOE) is now denying accusations that it had signed a quid pro quo agreement in exchange for the votes of the Galician Nationalist Party (BNG) and Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) to keep the beleaguered minister at her post.

30 November 2007

Madrid - After barely surviving a vote of no confidence brought against Public Works Minister Magdalena Álvarez by a coalition of Catalan congressmen on Tuesday, Álvarez's Socialist Party (PSOE) is now denying accusations that it had signed a quid pro quo agreement in exchange for the votes of the Galician Nationalist Party (BNG) and Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) to keep the beleaguered minister at her post.

Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's government succeeded in shooting down by a margin of only three votes a Congress motion issued by the Catalan leftist greens (IU-ICV), demanding that his public works minister resign.

The coalition blames Álvarez, who was forced to vote for herself in the vote, for the series of construction mishaps that have befallen the high-speed railway, AVE, being built to Barcelona.

Before being reprieved, Álvarez underwent a barrage of criticism by members of the opposition Popular Party (PP), who called her cocky, haughty, appalling, incompetent and a cheat.

The PP's Dolors Nadal ripped into the minister, saying: "Go home, your ladyship, and stop laughing at the patience, the civility and dignity of the Catalans who are sick and tired of your mistakes."

Before Tuesday's session, the BNG had planned on abstaining from the vote, and admitted that it was enticed by certain incentives, but it also denied that anything was signed or specified. The government denies there is any deal.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ KELLY RAMUNDO 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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