Spanish Senate approves constitutional cap on deficitSeptember 8th, 2011 - 11:56 am ICT by IANS
Madrid, Sep 8 (IANS/EFE) Spain’s Senate has approved a constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring budgetary stability.
Members of both chambers will now have until Sep 22 to request a referendum on the proposed change to an article of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.
A plebiscite would only be held if at least 26 senators or 35 members of the lower house asked for it.
The proposal, first introduced Aug 22, is the fruit of a pact between the governing Socialists and the conservative main opposition Popular Party, currently leading in the polls for the Nov 20 general elections.
Socialist and PP senators secured the bill’s passage through the upper house after defeating motions from leftist and regional parties demanding a referendum.
The amendment would be the first change to Spain’s post-Franco democratic charter since 1992.
Critics of the budget amendment say Spanish voters should be allowed to have their say on an issue of such importance.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who announced months ago that he would not seek a third four-year term, insists the amendment will send a positive message to financial markets worried about Spain’s large public debt.
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