Socialists seek alliancesto support government

16th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 August 2004, MADRID - The ruling Socialist (PSOE) party is planning various "stable" alliances with other parliamentary groups to ensure a sufficient majority to push through its planned reforms.

16 August 2004

MADRID - The ruling Socialist (PSOE) party is planning various "stable" alliances with other parliamentary groups to ensure a sufficient majority to push through its planned reforms.

The party's secretary general, Diego López Garrido, says the budget being prepared for next year will be "a good starting point" to achieve "greater parliamentary stability".

In an interview with the Efe news agency published on Monday, he said that agreements similar to those reached in governing Catalonia, with the left-wing Izquierda Alliance and regional groupings, would be an "essential reference" when seeking alliances at national level.

The government will be looking primarily to work with other like-minded "progressive groups". But regional parties such as the Canaries Coalition (CC) the Basque National (PNV) and the Catalan CiU were also on the list, he added.

PSOE's objective is to begin a new stage of greater parliamentary stability through medium and long term accords that will be "more tangible" those than those reached since the government took power in April.

López Garrido said that planned reforms of the statutes linking the autonomous regions with the central government, of the Constitution and of the Senate emphasised the importance of consensus.

"For that reason, we won't stop at more or less stable alliances with progressive-minded groups," but go beyond to look for "substantial accords" with other political parties, he said.

However, López Garrido declined to go into further details of just how binding any such agreements might be. "It's better not to define matters so closely in advance because that will reduce the margin of manoeuvrability with other groups," he added.

Following their surprise victory in the 14 March general elections, with poll predictions being overturned in the wake of the 11 March train bombings, the PSOE won 162 parliamentary seats – 14 short of an absolute majority.

Of the other leading parties, the defeated Partido Popular (PP) has 148 and Izquierda Unida five, while the remaining 33 are shared among regional parties.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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