J.P. Marín Arrese | Budgets stand as the paramount evidence for any government that it commands enough legislative backing. Especially when the governments in question cling to a fragile minority in order to stay in power. The Spanish Cabinet ranks high in this category, its survival is balancing on the thin rope the pro-independence ERC party is ready to offer. The price of this offer is engaging an open-ended dialogue on self-rule for Catalonia, plus an amnesty for the sentenced leaders of the derailed coup attempt. Both sides acknowledge that negotiations will lead nowhere. None the less, this offers political ammunition to ERC for quelling resistance at home in providing a life-jacket to PM Sánchez.
MADRID | By JP Marín Arrese | The Spanish Budget 2015 aims at delivering growth and jobs. Yet, the draft disclosed on Tuesday shows the limited scope for enforcing such a goal. The foreseen improvement in the economic environment would increase available resources through enhanced taxable income, a shrinking in unemployment and the debt-servicing bill. The Government intends to use the extra margin of manoeuvre to lower personal income and corporate taxes while increasing public investment. Yet, the amounts at stake hardly represent any sizeable boost for GPD.