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Tags: EU | Spain | Politics | The Latest

The Latest: Spanish Parliament Rejects Govt Spending Plan

The Latest: Spanish Parliament Rejects Govt Spending Plan

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 07:38 AM EST

MADRID (AP) — The Latest on political developments in Spain (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

Spain's lower house has rejected the ruling Socialist government's 2019 spending proposal, paving the way for the possible calling of early elections by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Catalan separatist lawmakers joined Spain's center-right and conservative opposition parties in voting against Sanchez's budget plan. The six blanket objections put forward by various parties received the backing of 191 lawmakers in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies.

The Catalan parties had refused to back Sanchez's national spending plan unless the government opened the door to negotiations on the northeastern region's self-determination issue. The government has said the country's Constitution doesn't allow that.

Sanchez became prime minister last year when the Catalans joined the anti-austerity Podemos and other smaller parties in backing a no-confidence vote against his conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy.

11:30 a.m.

A prosecutor in the Spanish Supreme Court is accusing attorneys for Catalan separatist leaders of trying to turn their trial into an examination of the Spanish state and judiciary.

Opening the second day of proceedings on Wednesday, Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza called "ridiculous" and "unjustified" the arguments made the day before by defense lawyers who said the trial is politically motivated and aims to eliminate dissent in the troubled northeastern region.

"They are trying to sit the state on the defendants' bench," said the prosecutor, adding that the trial's role is "to defend Spanish democracy and the constitutional order."

Twelve Catalan politicians and activists face years behind bars if they are convicted of rebellion or other charges for having pushed ahead with a unilateral independence declaration that opened an unprecedented political crisis in Spain at the end of 2017.

10:10 a.m.

Spain's prime minister could be forced to call an early general election if Catalan separatists reject, as expected, the minority socialist government's 2019 budget in a crucial parliamentary vote.

Barring a last minute deal that touches on the sensitive issue of Catalan self-determination, the separatist lawmakers will join Spain's right-wing opposition in voting against the ruling socialists' spending plan on Wednesday.

Pedro Sanchez became prime minister last year when the Catalans joined the anti-austerity Podemos and other smaller parties in backing a no-confidence vote against his conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy.

But Sanchez's socialist party holds only 84 seats in the 350-seat lower house.

Negotiations with the new separatist coalition that took power in the northeastern Catalonia region after the 2017 independence push broke down last week when Sanchez's government refused to accept self-determination talks.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
The Latest on political developments in Spain (all times local):11:50 a.m.Spain's lower house has rejected the ruling Socialist government's 2019 spending proposal, paving the way for the possible calling of early elections by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.Catalan separatist...
EU,Spain,Politics,The Latest
417
2019-38-13
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 07:38 AM
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