The leader of the PSOE socialist party, Pedro Sánchez, increased the pressure on the conservative PP government this week to reach a quick agreement on spending plans for this year or call a general election.
Mariano's Rajoy's government has still not secured approval for its 2018 budget and rivalry between the two main opposition parties, the PSOE and the centrist Ciudadanos, which is growing in popularity, has seen increasing public posturing on the lack of approved spending plans.
As last year, Rajoy needs the support of Ciudadanos and Basque and Canary Island nationalist MPs in the Madrid parliament to get his plans through. However the PNV, the Basque nationalist party, is refusing to approve any budgets until the government ends its suspension of some autonomous powers in Catalonia.
Finance minister, Cristóbal Montoro, said this week that he hoped to present the plans “before Easter”.
Ciudadanos leader, Albert Rivera, has said he prefers to see approved budgets rather than a general election, but says he will negotiate hard with Rajoy, especially on pensions.