Centre Right party Ciudadanos has given acting president Mariano Rajoy and the PP until Saturday night to reach an agreement over terms and conditions in order to bank on the former’s support in the in-house voting round.
According to the team led by Albert Rivera (pictured), the right-wing PP continues to prevaricate and remains non-committal, especially about quantifying the costs of the measures proposed by Ciudadanos.
Spokesman in Parliament Juan Carlos Girauta did not want to give full details as yet, but the proposed pact with Ciudadanos – if the PP agreed – would involve major structural changes within the government, including institutional reforms, and a commitment to funding social welfare projects such as education and health.
Although Ciudadanos is aware of the tight budget and ‘limited resources’ available, the reforms requested are ‘a matter of priority’, Girauta insists.
“I’m confident in the good faith of everyone involved, but time is running out,” he warns.
But deputy organisation secretary for the PP, Fernando Martínez-Maíllo, stresses that ‘time has not run out yet’ and that if his party had to carry on negotiating through the night, it would do so.
“We’ve made huge advances in terms of democratic regeneration – not just in terms of the famous corruption concept, but also in terms of a State pact which we want to involve all political parties; it’s a framework of severity, close monitoring and maximum transparency.”
He called for ‘a bit of calm and patience’ from Ciudadanos, because ‘the figures always come at the end’.
“Why 48 hours and not 24 hours?” Martínez-Maíllo demanded.
“The PP does not accept deadlines: we have just one deadline, and that’s the date of the in-house voting round – and we want to reach an agreement as soon as possible, even tonight if we can.”
But if the PP does not come up with the goods, Ciudadanos will not support them in the presidential vote, Rivera has warned.