Spain's parliament votes on IMF cuts

Spain's parliament started a debate ahead of a knife-edge vote on a 15 billion euro austerity package with the governing Socialists apparently heading for a win by as little as one vote.

Spain's parliament votes on IMF cuts

Spain's parliament started a debate on Thursday ahead of a knife-edge vote on a 15 billion euro austerity package with the governing Socialists apparently heading for a win by as little as one vote.

With the conservative opposition Popular Party opposing the package including salary cuts for public workers and pension freezes, the governing minority Socialists were hoping Catalan nationalists CiU will keep a promise to abstain, which should allow the measure to squeak past.

The Basque Nationalist Party said on Wednesday it would side with the main opposition Popular Party and oppose the cuts in the vote expected some time after 1100 GMT.

The austerity plan had been introduced through a decree, but a vote against the plan would remove it from the statute books, a reversal which would rock the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

"Zapatero's future as prime minister hangs by a single vote," said El Pais.

Spain's Socialist government's 169 seats do not give it an absolute majority in Spain's 350 seat lower house so it needs support or abstentions from opposition parties to pass measures.

Spain's government announced more spending cuts to accelerate a reduction in its budget deficit after the European Union and International Monetary Fund approved $1 trillion in emergency funds for weak euro economies.

Civil service salaries will be cut by 5 percent in 2010 and frozen in 2011.


Agencies

Last Mod: 27 Mayıs 2010, 11:29
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