Spain reaches deal that will help it pass 2011 budget key to cutting deficit

By Daniel Woolls, AP
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spain government inches closer to budget support

MADRID — Spain’s government says it has struck a deal with a small opposition party that will help it pass the 2011 budget, which is key to its plan to bring borrowing under control.

The ruling Socialist party leads a minority government that relies on support from opposition parties on a case-by-case basis to get laws passed. The government has become more isolated of late as parties criticize its handling of Spain’s economic crisis.

Failure to pass a budget would be unprecedented and presumably force Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to call early elections.

The ruling party’s spokesman in Parliament, Jose Antonio Alonso, announced Wednesday night a deal with the small Basque Nationalist Party that will probably guarantee its support for the budget.

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