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MNI BRIEF: Spain Delays EU Presidency Speech By Two Months

(MNI) Brussels

The Spanish government will delay the customary speech given by incoming holders of the European Union’s rotating presidency setting out their policy priorities from July to mid-September, further dimming prospects for progress on key EU initiatives including fiscal reform.

The decision follows the announcement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday of a general election on July 23 and is designed to allow time for election as well as formation of a new government.

A spokesperson for the European Parliament confirmed that it had been informed of the delay by Madrid and that the speech would now likely take place in Strasbourg on Sept 13.

MNI reported on Tuesday that the decision to call elections could jeopardise the chances of Spain brokering a long-awaited deal on new EU fiscal rules. (See Spanish Elections A Blow To EU Fiscal Reform-Officials)

The two-month delay is likely to crystallise concerns among officials that the Spanish election will limit progress on key EU policy files, such as fiscal reform, bank crisis management and deposit insurance, important green legislation, as well as a number of important free trade agreements with third countries.

MNI Brussels Bureau |
MNI Brussels Bureau |

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