The Basque Nationalist Party's (PNV) spokesperson in the Spanish Congress, Aitor Esteban, has said this Tuesday that if the Spanish government replies in an "exacerbated" manner to the 1st October referendum in Catalonia and exceeds certain lines, the relationship between the PNV and the PP (Popular Party) on the topic of budgets "would become complicated".
In statements to the media made in the Congress, Esteban denied that the PNV's president in Vizcaya province had threatened to block the 2018 budgets and said that "he hasn't said anything other than what several of us representatives of PNV have been saying for a while and which the prime minister already knows".
"Undoubtedly, responding in an exacerbated manner and exceeding certain lines and levels on the topic of Catalonia would complicate the relationship that we have with the PP and the [Spanish] government itself knows this", he said after noting that the Spanish executive has to present its national 2018 budget proposal to the Congress before 30th September.
The parliamentary spokesman indicated that the PNV has not been in contact with the Spanish government and does not have any meetings planned for the near future. Moreover, Esteban did not say what red lines would risk the PNV's support for next year's budgets, limiting himself to indicating that "we'll see how events develop and what every one does".
As such, he didn't specify whether the suspension from office of Catalan public official would be considered an "exacerbated" response by the Spanish government, saying that that hasn't happened yet.
The PNV supported the 2018 spending ceiling passed in the Congress' plenary assembly on 11th July with 175 votes in favour from the PP, Ciudadanos (Citizens), PNV, UPN (Navarra People's Union), Foro Asturias (Asturias Forum) and Coalición Canaria (Canary Island Coalition) with the abstention of Nueva Canarias (New Canary Islands).
On the other hand, Esteban reiterated that the majority of the Catalan people have said they want to vote to express their opinion and insisted that looking for a way for this to be possible "is always positive". "We would like that in Catalonia and we would like that too, in due time, if the Basque people call for it. It seems to us that it should be something natural," he said.