Podemos triggers crisis for PSOE in Castilla-La Mancha

PSOE's Emiliano García-Page (L) and Podemos' José García Molina on signing accord in July 2015. Photo: PSOE via El Diario
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• Podemos revolts over Socialist vetoes of amendments on social spending items
• PSOE ‘Baron’ García-Page finds himself short two votes needed to pass budget

After months of wrangling between the regional affiliates of Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) and its’ chief left-wing rival, anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can), the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha has been thrown into crisis after the local Podemos party rejected the 2017 regional budget proposal put forth by the Socialists, threatening the ability of Castilla-La Mancha president Emiliano García-Page to govern the region in central Spain.

The souring of relations between Podemos and the PSOE in Castilla-La Mancha dates from late September, when Podemos affiliates in the the regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura announced their withdrawal of support for their respective PSOE regional governments  in a move that appeared at the time to be a response to growing support for an internal Socialist party coup against party leader Pedro Sánchez abetted by old-guard regional Socialist party bosses.

The ongoing differences between the two Castilla-La Mancha rival parties turned into open warfare last week, after the PSOE vetoed 20 of 25 budget amendments put forward by Podemos that caused a revolt by leaders of the anti-austerity party and withdrawal of support for passage of the budget. Local PSOE party boss García-Page governs Castilla-La Mancha in minority and needs at least two votes from Podemos to get the budget through the regional parliament.

Podemos leader José García Molina previously complained back in September that the García-Page government had backtracked on most of its commitments made in the July 2015 pact between the two parties that brought him to power. The PSOE’s veto of most of the Podemos amendments proposed on line-item expenditures in social-spending areas such as healthcare and education triggered the current crisis.

► Read More in Spanish at El Mundo, El Diario and El País …

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