Pro-independence Catalan parties say won't back Spanish budget

Pro-independence Catalan parties say won't back Spanish budget

Carles Campuzano, Catalonia's centre-right Convergence and Union (CiU) party congressman, talk
Carles Campuzano (L), Catalonia's centre-right Convergence and Union (CiU) party congressman, talks to Spain's Socialist Party PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez during a control session at Spanish parliament in Madrid, Spain, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

MADRID: Both pro-Catalan independence parties in Spain's national parliament said on Wednesday (Feb 13) they would vote against the Socialist government's 2019 budget draft, bringing the country one step closer to a snap election.

The Socialists hold less than a quarter of the seats in parliament and need support from smaller regional parties, including the Catalans, to get the proposal voted through.

About an hour before the budget vote, expected around 12pm (1100 GMT), PDeCAT lawmaker Carles Campuzano told reporters there was "no change" to the party's plan to vote against the budget.

Joan Tarda, a lawmaker for the other pro-independence party, the ERC, said it also planned to vote against the bill, barring unexpected last-minute changes.

The Catalan parties had called for, among other things, the region's right to organise a referendum on independence in exchange for their support in parliament - something the government has refused to consider.

Government and Socialist party sources told Reuters on Tuesday that a defeat on the budget would lead to an early announcement of a snap national election, with Apr 14 or Apr 28 among possible dates.

Other sources said on Wednesday it was not clear yet when the snap election would be announced.

Source: Reuters/na

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