The truce between PSOE and PP over Vox's vote of no confidence was solely a mirage. The battle for the general State budgets against the backdrop of an alleged hidden pact with EH Bildu now permeates all spheres of politics in Madrid. The prime minister's question time in Congress has been marked by these negotiations of the budget. The leader of PP, Pablo Casado, has ordered his entire team to attack the PSOE for negotiating with the abertzale party. However, the Spanish president continues to ignore the criticisms - on Monday he asked for loyalty from the PSOE barons during the socialist executive. As he did Tuesday in the Senate question time, he has avoided mentioning EH Bildu, although he has drawn attention to the fact that it was a socialist government that "defeated ETA" ten years ago. The PSOE's strategy involves blaming PP for driving them into the arms of the abertzales.
"You practice trumpist politics: polarization to try and blow up all the bridges, fake news, and not recognizing the electoral defeat," Sanchez told Casado, placing PP and Vox back under the same umbrella after the head of the opposition asked if the future president of the United States, Joe Biden, would make a pact with "the terrorists of Bataclan", since the Moncloa has made a pact with "the terrorists of Hipercor". Furthermore, the Spanish president predicted that if PP and the "ultra-right" follow the strategy of Trumpism, "they will have the same end: failure and electoral defeat".
A "moderate" budget
At the same time, the president of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, has tried to put Sanchez between a rock and a hard place asking him to choose which government partners he prefers to agree on the State budget with. However, she has been met with a Spanish president who has not gone off script, and continuously maintained that the maximum amount of support must be added. He has nevertheless defended that it is a "sensible" and "moderate" budget, as Ciudadanos asks for. Considering criticism from their leader due to the aforementioned pact with EH Bildu, and while he has extended his hand again and again so that the Moncloa chooses adequately, Sánchez has warned Arrimadas that "politics is much more than a sum of empty sentences. We need each other here," he riveted.
The amount of questions the Spanish president has received about the budgets has gone from more pressure to less. It began with the usual scramble between Sánchez and Casado, continued with the outstretched hand of Arrimadas, and ended with the clear understanding of the PNB to reach an agreement, which has been in negotiation for weeks. In fact, the Ministry of Finance takes the support of the Basque nationalists for granted, who - considering EH Bildu in the equation - emphasizes each time that they are a "preferential partner". The same adjective has been used by Sánchez, who, in view of Esteban's demands to meet investment commitments, has pointed out that the accounts provide for an increase of 8.2% for the Basque Country with respect to the 2019 project that was never processed.
Differences between coalition partners
Sanchez and Iglesias have been in tune when critizing the PP strategy, but the day began with a new message of pressure from the second vice-president to the PSOE to opt for the investiture block. After Podemos submitted a partial amendment on Tuesday to stop evictions together with ERC and EH Bildu - an attempt to tweak the accounts through the back door - the second vice-president has defended the amendment on Twitter to "push with the forces we have" in order to reverse "some injustices".
La paralización de los desahucios tiene enemigos muy poderosos. Basta encender la radio para comprobarlo. Pero a nosotros no nos votaron para hacer amigos, sino para empujar con las fuerzas que tenemos para revertir, aunque sea parcialmente, algunas injusticias. Gobernar es eso— Pablo Iglesias 🔻 (@PabloIglesias) November 18, 2020