• Robles says Socialists in Congress kept in dark about negotiations with PP
• PP-PSOE accords in Congress exclude Podemos, Ciudadanos from process
Legislative deals being worked out in Congress by the governing conservative Partido Popular (PP) and the opposition Socialist party (PSOE) are not only exclusing PP-ally Ciudadanos and the PSOE’s left-wing rival Podemos (We Can) from the process, but are also being reached with Socialist lawmakers themselves being kept in the dark, charged Socialist party deputy Margarita Robles over the weekend.
As the PP cedes ground from previous hardline positions held when it had an absolute majority in the last session of Congress, the conservative party is seeking out the PSOE almost exclusively in negotiating the terms of legislative deals on the upcoming budget, including a rise in Spain’s minumum wage, the ceiling on government spending and the anticipated budget deficit for 2017.
In the process, the PP has virtually excluded its ally Ciudadanos, whose votes in Congress paved the way for PP leader Mariano Rajoy to return to power for a second term as Prime Minister, as well as Podemos, the third-largest party in Congress and rival of the Socialists for capturing the left-of-center vote. Now, however, Socialist party legislators in Congress are complaining that they are simply being handed down dictates on key legislative questions from the party’s interim caretaker administration.
Speaking on behalf of a number of Socialist deputies who broke ranks with the party leadership to vote against Rajoy’s return to power, PSOE deputy Margarita Robles told the Europa Press news agency that the party’s interim leadership has completely marginalized Socialist legislators in Congress from the process. “We’re finding out what’s going on through the press, we don’t even know who’s taking the decisions,” Robles said.