And Ciudadanos focused on Alicante. After weeks of negotiating with the left, apart from its government partner (PP), to try that the Vox ultras were not decisive in the approval of the 2021 Budget, the orange formation made official this Tuesday the agreement it most longed for: with the PSOE. And it was done without contention: with a pact of almost twenty points, a video of the moment of the signing between the vice mayor and spokesperson for Cs, Mari Carmen Sánchez, and the socialist spokesperson, Francesc Sanguino, and a later posed of both in the Esplanade.
A pact and a symbolic image with, a priori, three main victims: the mayor, Luis Barcala, whom Ciudadanos forced to accept the agreement with the socialists despite the fact that in the Mayor’s Office Vox’s abstention was enough because the objective – they insist – was exclusively approve the Budget; the ultras, because in 24 hours they went from being decisive to carry out key accounts in the face of the scenario generated by the covid crisis to not being necessary for the future of the vote; and Compromís, who also negotiated that agreement with Ciudadanos but, if they join, will no longer be the first of the class, as they have been in the Diputación, where the orange coalition was ahead of the socialists. Three victims and two, a priori, winners of the two-way agreement: the Socialists, who manage to mark Barcala in his “drift” to the extreme right, and Ciudadanos, who manage to take a step forward to focus their speech, send a message to Barcala, which to date has governed with an almost invisible partner and, consequently, to advance in the attempt to get out of the irrelevance in which it had been installed practically since the beginning of the current mandate, more than a year and a half ago.
The popular ones insist that they were aware of the pact between their partner and the left and maintain that it is compatible with Vox
The agreement signed between Cs and the PSOE, in whose negotiation Ángel Franco was resorted to in search of unlocking after the difficult relationship between the Orange and Sanguino, is based on a document of 18 points, with two that stand out greatly, despite to talk about economic recovery plans, changes in the social sphere and projects in favor of mobility and heritage. The first of these most significant aspects is the withdrawal of the controversial Begging and Prostitution Ordinance. And not only is its municipal processing paralyzed (it was approved two months ago in the Governing Board and was waiting to be raised to plenary session), but the negotiation with the opposition and the social fabric will not start from that document promoted by the Department of Security in the hands of the PP, but the basis will be the text agreed in the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), a condition that the popular resisted until the last minute.
The second is the 15% increase in the budget of the Department of Equality, which seeks to alleviate the cuts of almost 35% that are included in the draft subject to audit. That is, the socialists have not claimed to return the game to its original state, which may allow Vox to maintain its announced abstention from the Budget. That is the reading that is made in the Mayor’s Office, where they do not question that the ultras will confirm their vote despite the subsequent pact with the left. They also highlight that they have not been oblivious to the agreement between their partner and the PSOE, despite being removed from the negotiation and signing. Much insisted that they were knowledgeable about the alliance. “We not only endorse it, but we knew it,” they stressed, while stating that the bilateral agreement also satisfies their interests by moving towards a greater consensus.
Visions of a firm
However, the malaise among the popular was evident, although they did to camouflage it. And Compromís was the element they were mainly targeting, since, had the pact been signed in the first place with the Valencian coalition, the signing of Cs with the Socialists would have lost significance. In Compromís, after announcing this Monday that their vote would be “no”, they returned a day later to the negotiation board. And they do it forced to not be relegated from the photo, now trying to give a twist to the existing pact. Basically because they demand “to reverse the cuts that the agreement between Vox and the PP has forced.” Those of Bellido intend to go further than the PSOE, seeking a more ambitious agreement to force the ultras to oppose the accounts. “It is urgent to break the photo of PP and Vox, we do not want to leave Alicante in the hands of the extreme right,” added the spokesman for Compromís. Vox remained silent after the prominence the day before.
In the “no” everything indicates that Unidos Podemos will continue to be installed, which this Tuesday was more than irritated by the Cs and PSOE pact. “Getting on the wagon of the budget of the extreme right is to whitewash Vox’s positions,” said the spokesman for the purple coalition, Xavier López, in a criticism focused on the socialists, for the pact already made official, and also in Compromís, through the door open to join the budget agreement.
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