Spanish minority socialist government is planning to announce an early general election after its expected defeat in the budget vote going to held on Wednesday following the refusal to negotiate Catalan self-determination, the political sources reported on Tuesday.
According to Reuters news reports, the two small Catalan pro-independence parties over whose the government has been since relying on to pass the legislation, have maintained, so far, their rejection on the budget.
They have said they were open to negotiating, if the government promised them on the rights to self-determination, until the budget vote, but that the right has been prohibited by the government of Spanish.
Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero told parliament that the Spanish government would “not give in to blackmail” over the budget. She said, “If you want self-determination, I can tell you that there will be no budget,” further warning Catalonia would lose good and generous budget for its region.
The Spanish government and socialist party sources said the early snap election date has not been yet finalized, although it is expected to take place on April 14 followed by April 28 as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wanted the ballot much sooner in order to mobilize the left voters against the threats of rights coming into the power.
While claiming that announcing the election should overshadow the budget vote defeat and further create a room for positive news flow and helping the socialists, a government source told Reuters, “The idea is to announce we’re calling elections as soon as possible once the (vote on) the state’s general budget is lost.”
A senior Socialist party source has confirmed the announcement of an early election would probably occur soon. It said, “It is likely, as soon as the voting (on the budget) ends.”
Tensions between Barcelona and Madrid has been increased as the first day of budget debates has coincided with the start of the trial of about 12 Catalan separatist leaders in Madrid over their role played during the region’s failed independence bid in the year of 2017.
While addressing the government, the Catalan PDeCat party member, Ferran Bel said, “If there is no budget, it won’t be the Catalan pro-independence parties’ fault, it will be because you think you will benefit from an early election.”
Catalonia’s regional government head Quim Torra told reporters, “We are not demanding anything that isn’t democratic, that wouldn’t be done via ballot boxes. One cannot govern against Catalonia, against the will of its people.”
However, the sources did not say about when Sanchez would announce holding an early general election.