OREANDA-NEWS Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Friday, February 15, decided to dissolve the Parliament and hold new elections, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais. The announcement was preceded by a meeting with the government.

It was expected that the Prime Minister will announce early elections on Wednesday, February 13, when the deputies did not accept the draft budget submitted by the government. Voted against 191 MP, 158 were in favor, one abstained; only in the Spanish Parliament of 350 MPs. The budget provided for expenses in the amount of €473 billion this year, Bloomberg writes.

Sanchez has been heading the minority government since June 2018. ​He is the leader of Spanish socialist workers party, the party has 84 out of 350 seats in Parliament. The new socialist government was formed after the previous one, which had been operating since 2011, led by the leader of the people's party Mariano Rajoy, received a vote of no confidence in the Parliament.

The resignation of Rajoy's Cabinet was the result of the so-called case of Gurtel. It was associated with a large-scale bribery of politicians of the people's party by businessmen. According to the investigation, which led the case since 2009, it was a large-scale shadow system, which included bribery, illegal financing of politicians and tax evasion. In 2011, the publication Publico wrote that the damage to the country's economy amounted to €120 million by the most conservative estimates.

Deputies of the people's party, as well as two Catalan associations opposed the budget, the party leader Pablo Casado called the vote on the budget "de facto vote of confidence" to the Prime Minister, which he lost.

According to statistic published on February 12 in the Spanish El Diario, the socialists are slightly ahead of the popular party in the ranking. 23.7% of respondents are ready to vote for the first, 23.1% — for the second. 

The government crisis broke out in Spain against the background of the beginning on February 12 in Madrid in the Supreme court of the process in the case of 12 politicians from Catalonia, who are accused of violating the law when organizing a referendum on the separation of the region in 2017. Led at the time Catalonia Carles Puigdemont in the process is not involved and is hiding in Belgium.