President Francina Armengol and Vice-President Biel Barceló today wished everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year at the annual festive drinks party at the Consolat de Mar. However, events were overshadowed by the current tensions caused by the Podemos internal crisis.
The government parties, PSOE and Més, are indignant about the handling of this crisis. On Thursday, the Podemos national committee of guarantees confirmed the expulsion from the party of Xelo Huertas, the president (speaker) of the Balearic parliament. PSOE and Més were outraged that this decision, communicated by Podemos leader Alberto Jarabo, undermined the passing of the budget for 2017. They were scathing of the way in which Jarabo has dealt with the whole affair and are concerned about the institutional crisis that the expulsion of Huertas represents.
Huertas, who ended the parliamentary session by telling deputies that "next year will be better than the one that we are finishing", told reporters afterwards that she was going on holiday. Out of respect for parliament, she didn't wish to say anything further.
It now seems as if Huertas's final fate will be decided at a meeting of the Podemos parliamentary group on 9 January. Podemos does not wish to give up the position of speaker and is likely to propose that Marta Maicas, one of its parliamentary deputies, takes over the role. However, PSOE and Més may not accept this, and what is clouding the issue further is whether Huertas stays on as a parliamentary deputy. The same applies to Montse Seijas, who was also expelled by the committee of guarantees but whose case hasn't yet been ratified.
Huertas and Seijas have indicated that they will not give up their seats, which will lead to Podemos having reduced authority within the three-party pact with PSOE and Més.
Among reaction to the events affecting Podemos, the Més spokesperson David Abril said that no one can go on holiday until the situation is resolved. He described the spectacle in parliament, with all deputies aware of Huertas's expulsion, as "vaudeville".
El Pi, one of the opposition parties, staged a symbolic minute's silence at the doors to parliament, protesting against the way in which such an important parliamentary occasion as the budget approval was "eclipsed" by Podemos. President Armengol, meanwhile, is understood to be furious at what has happened.
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