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  • Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez holds a news conference in Madrid, Spain, Feb. 15, 2019.

    Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez holds a news conference in Madrid, Spain, Feb. 15, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 February 2019

The failure to secure approval for a 2019 budget, as well as the loss of Catalan support, has paved the way for the fall of Sanchez.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Friday that general elections will be held on Apr. 28, which ends an eight-and-a-half month term that began when a confidence motion ousted Mariano Rajoy's government.

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The announcement was made at the Palacio de la Moncloa after holding an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers. However, before revealing the date for the elections, Sanchez made an extensive assessment of his government and recalled the reasons that led him to submit a confidence motion to Rajoy.

"[It was] a government harassed by corruption and plunged into legislative paralysis," Sanchez said, adding that the motion was not aimed to "kick anyone out."

The Spanish Prime Minister also referred to the Catalonia crisis, recounting that he is always willing to hold dialogue within the frame of "the Constitution and the law."

Regarding the Parliament's rejection of the 2019 budget, an event which took place on Feb. 13 and was supported by the right-wing parties and the Catalan separatists, Sanchez said that "there are parliamentary defeats that are social victories" and added that when a government "cannot govern and move forward, it has to make decisions."

The Prime Minister, whose Socialist Party has just 84 of 350 deputies, reproached the attitude of the right-wing opposition against numerous social measures.

He also criticized the Catalan parties for blocking the 2019 budget because the socialist government rejected the region's self-determination demand.

“Between doing nothing and continuing without the budget and calling on Spaniards to have their say, I choose the second," the Spanish Prime Minister declared.

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