Spain Budget at Risk as Sanchez Ally Threatens to Walk Away
The approval of Spain’s 2022 budget has been unexpectedly put at risk after a key government ally threatened to withdraw its support.
Catalan separatist group Esquerra Republicana said it could pull its support for the spending plan when it is up to vote in the Spanish Senate if the government doesn’t live up to pledges regarding legal quotas for content broadcast by streaming platforms such as Netflix and HBO. Senate approval for the budget was expected to be a formality.
“Either this is done or Esquerra Republicana won’t back the this law,” Gabriel Rufian, the head of the party’s caucus in Congress, said in a late night press conference Tuesday. “And if Esquerra Republicana doesn’t back this law, this law doesn’t exist.”
Rufian’s comments came after the government earlier in the day said that an agreement with Esquerra on the quotas would only be applicable for domestic streaming platforms.
The quotas require that a certain percentage of original content be produced in so-called regional languages -- Catalan, Basque and Galician.
On Wednesday, Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said the budget and streaming content were two different issues.
The budget “has nothing to do with any other draft laws,” Calviño said in an interview with radio Onda Cero, adding that the audiovisual rules included in a new draft law are conditioned by European Union rules. “We cannot mix one thing with another.”
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