Catalina Cladera explaining the approval of the budget.

23-12-2015Miquel A. Cañellas

“A sign of stability.” This is how regional finance minister, Catalina Cladera, described yesterday’s approval of the 2016 budget, stressing that the Balearic government is complying with agreements on governability struck between PSOE, Més and Podemos.

Given that Podemos had announced that it might reconsider these agreements (if the budget was not to its liking), Cladera emphasised that the government is “where it should be” in terms of the agreements. There is, therefore, no instability, while she had been “relaxed” about the Podemos statements, adding that dialogue must always exist.

The budget is, as a consequence, the “fruit of consensus and of the pact” and of working together with Podemos. Cladera noted that the government is always open to dialogue and committed to leftist and social policies, so long as they are in line with the available budget. “The theme of fiscal measures is taking shape. I don’t believe there has been any shakiness. It is an example that should continue in 2016.”

As for the possibility, raised by Podemos, of opening sessions to its circles of members and to the rest of the public in order that any “errors or shortcomings” by the government can be assessed, Cladera believed that this would not affect the budget as it meets with the agreements that had been struck.

She added that during the processing of the budget there had been 44 amendments from Podemos, El Pi, the Partido Popular and Gent per Formentera. This example of “stability” should be extrapolated, she suggested, to the rest of government in Spain so that majorities of the left can adopt policies that are working in the Balearics.

Regardless of who governs in Madrid, she went on, the Balearics will continue to press for improved financing. “The challenge that we have is the financing and its system and the special economic regime for the Balearics.” When the new national government is put together, it should make this a priority, she stated.

Cladera was satisfied with the budget approval as it charts “the path for the whole of the legislature (until 2019)” and gathers together the policies that will be put in place. In six months, she added, there has been a turnaround in these policies, with social ones now being applied.

With 80% of spending to go on social policies, the budget and new tax policy were aimed at a redistribution of wealth and combating social inequalities as well as at giving greater resources to the island councils. 

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