Spain's PM may call early election for April 14

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is considering calling an early national election for April 14, a state-owned news agency reported on Monday citing unnamed government sources.

The ruling Socialists hold less than a quarter of the seats in the lower parliamentary house and face a key vote on the 2019 budget on Wednesday.

Officials had told Reuters over the past few days that an early election was likely but that, while April was a possibility, the date had not been set yet.

The government, whose term is scheduled to run to 2020, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Sanchez's party has been struggling to gather enough support to pass the budget bill, and depends on the vote of smaller parties, including Catalan nationalists, who have said they will vote against it.

If Spain's parliament rejects the 2019 budget proposal, the current legislature would be cut short, the party's Deputy Secretary General Adriana Lastra said on Monday.

It is up to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to take the final decision on whether to call an early election, Lastra said during a conference in Madrid.

Thousands of people demonstrated in Madrid on Sunday against Sanchez's proposed talks to ease political tensions in Catalonia, in a protest organized by center-right and far-right opposition parties.

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Thousands protest in Madrid against government's Catalonia policy

(Cover: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez makes an official statement on Venezuela, at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, February 4, 2019. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Reuters