Spanish government loses vote with budget fight looming

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MADRID (AP) — Spain’s government lost a vote in parliament to change regulations for housing rentals on Tuesday, dealing the ruling Socialists a setback as they try to cobble together support to pass a national budget.

The far-left Podemos (“We Can”) party voted no, because it said the government decree didn’t do enough to limit the cost of rental properties, specifically by not empowering local governments to apply rent ceilings.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez heads a minority government and will need Podemos’s support, along with that of several smaller parties, to pass his budget.

If he fails to pass a budget, Sanchez will be under pressure to call an early election instead of seeing out the legislative term through 2020.

Spain has endured a major increase in the price of housing rentals recently.

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