Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Spanish PM hopes to meet Catalan leader, Madrid to negotiate deficit targets


UPDATE 2-Spanish PM hopes to meet Catalan leader, Madrid to negotiate deficit targets
File photo Image Credit: Flickr

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Tuesday he wanted to meet Catalonia's pro-independence regional leader "as soon as possible".

He also hoped Madrid would start negotiations soon with the European Commission on easing its public deficit targets. Speaking after the first meeting of Spain's new government, he also said the coalition had approved a decree raising pensions by 0.9% this year in a bid to ensure retirees "do not lose purchasing power".

The government estimated in a statement that the rise in pensions would amount to a cost of 1.41 billion euros in a one-off measure. Sanchez was sworn in last Wednesday, ending months of political gridlock and economic uncertainty after two inconclusive elections in 2019. Days later he announced a government lineup including ministers from the left-wing Unidas Podemos, who will now meet regularly on Tuesdays for cabinet meetings.

Sanchez said efforts to arrange a meeting with Quim Torra, the leader of the Catalonia region, were already underway but a date for a meeting had not yet been set. The Catalan separatist party ERC was instrumental in enabling Sanchez to win a confirmation vote in parliament last week, although Torra is not a member of the ERC, and Sanchez has said he will seek to resolve the Catalan dispute through dialogue.

The separatist movement in the northeastern region spiraled into political crisis after leaders defied Spanish courts to hold a 2017 referendum on independence. Nine leaders were later sentenced to up to 13 years in prison over their role in the failed independence bid. Lacking a majority in parliament, Sanchez's government must now forge consensus among a shaky patchwork of alliances to pass laws.

Spain lowered its growth forecasts late last year due to domestic and external factors such as trade tensions and raised its deficit estimate. Sanchez said his government would aim to negotiate with the EU Commission to potentially relax public deficit targets, currently approved by Spain's parliament at 0.5% for 2020.

"The economic conditions have changed for some time now, so this is a negotiation process that we will have to open with the European Commission ... and we will start that negotiation as soon as possible," Sanchez said without giving further details. The head of Spanish Treasury, Carlos San Basilio, said Spain would seek targets that would balance competitiveness with enabling growth. "The commission has been flexible in recent years, you don't just come up with one magic number," he said at an event in Madrid. hi - is that per day

Sanchez said his government would also carry out its promise of raising Spain's minimum wage to 60% of the average wage of 23,646 euros per year, but said the measure would take time. "We've just started and we have many weeks ahead of us," Sanchez told reporters.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

WEF2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

Videos

Latest News

UPDATE 2-Canada prosecutors say fraud at heart of Huawei CFO Meng's U.S. extradition case

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returned to a Vancouver courtroom on Wednesday where Canadian prosecutors defended a U.S. extradition request, saying Mengs alleged bank fraud is the heart of the case that has strained relations ...

UPDATE 2-Earthquake of magnitude 5.6 strikes near Kirkagac, Turkey- USGS

An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 has struck near the Turkish town of Kirkagac on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.The quake, centered 15 km 9.32 miles east of the town, was very shallow at a depth of about 8.6 kilometers 5.34 miles,...

FACTBOX-Climate change plans of the leading U.S. Democratic candidates

The leading Democratic candidates all believe climate change is an existential threat to the planet and have vowed to bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions down to net-zero by 2050.While the candidates have the same broad goals, they vary in ...

UPDATE 1-Climate change plans of the leading U.S. Democratic candidates

The leading Democratic candidates all believe climate change is an existential threat to the planet and have vowed to bring U.S. greenhouse gas emissions down to net-zero by 2050.While the candidates have the same broad goals, they vary in ...

Give Feedback