Budget for 2008 approved in final session of Congress

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Congress gave final approval to the 2008 budget on Thursday.

21 December 2007

MADRID - Congress on Thursday gave final approval to the 2008 budget, using the final session of the current legislature to overcome a veto in the Senate to the election-year spending plan.

Arguing that by rejecting the budget lawmakers risk "robbing citizens" of the "economic benefits" of the EUR 350-billion spending plan, the Socialist government narrowly won sufficient support to overturn a veto imposed by conservative and nationalist senators. The budget passed with the approval of 183 lawmakers, against 165 who voted against.

Addressing the chamber, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero thanked representatives for their support and predicted that the budget will allow Spain to continue its trend of economic and jobs growth into 2008 and the next legislature.

"Economic and budgetary stability has allowed us to have a legislature of strong economic growth in which more than three million jobs have been created and which the public accounts have run a surplus each year," Zapatero said.

He noted that recently Spain surpassed the EU average in GDP per capita for the first time and also overtook Italy. "Our next target is to overtake France," he said.

In a press conference after the vote, Zapatero confirmed that the general election will be held, as expected, on Sunday 9 March.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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