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Citizens fight for their institutional survival with three million less budget


Revenues have plummeted in a year, and management assumes that it will have to "rationalize" electoral campaign expenses

Ciudadanos has two months ahead of them to achieve a survival objective that seems more complicated every day: not to disappear from the political map after the regional and municipal elections on May 28.

And, among other difficulties, the budget that the party has to face this challenge is much smaller than in other campaigns.

The annual accounts of CS, which this newspaper has accessed, indicate that the income from the training is currently almost five million euros, that is, three million less than those that appeared in the table for 2022. The management He also plans to spend practically all the money that comes in, so the balance is only 3,000 euros net.

“We don't have as much money as we thought.

We will have to rationalize the campaign ”, admit sources of the new executive.

The CS national committee, the party's expanded leadership, will meet this Friday for the second time since the new executive took over the helm last January.

On this occasion, the conclave will take place in Granada.

The first meeting of the new General Council, the highest body between assemblies, will also be held.

It is in that Council where the budget planned for 2023 must be presented and explained, and thus make the 120 CS directors aware of the accounts.

In the document, the leadership acknowledges the economic difficulties that the formation is going through, the result of the successive electoral crises: “We would have liked to be able to present an expansive budget for 2023 and one that would yield great benefits to increase the party's assets.

The circumstances that frame this year advise us prudence and containment ”, reads the text.

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These "circumstances" have to do with the plummeting number of affiliates, and are accompanied by surveys that do not guarantee survival after the appointment at the polls in spring.

In the case of militant quotas, Ciudadanos estimates to enter 400,000 euros, about 730,000 less than in 2022. Another of the bleedings occurs in the drop in contributions from institutional groups.

This year, the regional and municipal parliamentary groups will transfer 1,250,000 euros to the national coffers, according to the management, that is, 1,440,000 less than last year.

Added to this decrease in the amount is the legal mess discovered by the new executive a week ago: the old management lost control of the bank accounts of the institutional groups at the end of last year.

A control that the new leadership is trying to recover in a hurry now, a week after the formal call for elections.

This money is important for the party: "Agreements have been signed with us for services, advice, program support, management support... And this money is transferred from the groups to the party for providing these services," sources say. of CS.

However, the investment that Ciudadanos plans to make for the May election campaign is outside of this budget, according to these sources.

"Each of these electoral processes will entail extraordinary expenses, which are not included in the party's regular budget that we are presenting now and which will reduce the resources accumulated by the party up to this year," the document warns.

Executive sources insist that the "net worth" of the party is 11 million euros.

However, other sources claim that this figure is inflated.

What is officially recognized is that there are "many bills", "expenses" and "severance pay" pending payment.

Facing the campaign, each regional committee will have to make the distribution "depending on the weight" of the municipality.

However, management sources guarantee that, whatever happens on May 28, the party, which will still have nine seats in Congress and five MEPs in Brussels, will attend the general elections at the end of the year. .

But, by then, it will be necessary to update the consigned budget, as can be seen from the text sent to the councilors: "After the next municipal and regional elections, it will be necessary to proceed with a budget review to adapt it to the results obtained."

First resignation in the new leadership after the appointment of two candidates without primaries

The new leadership of Ciudadanos, which took over the helm just two months ago, has already suffered the first casualty.

The Secretary of Communication, Ramón Fuertes, resigned this Wednesday from his position as a member of the permanent committee "due to internal differences" with his colleagues just the same day that the Ciudadanos candidates for the Government of Aragon and without primaries were appointed from Madrid and to the Zaragoza City Council for the upcoming elections in May.

The resignation, brought forward by the

Heraldo de Aragón

, comes barely two months after the re-founding assembly was held in which the new leadership of Ciudadanos took the reins of the formation after the departure of the team led by Inés Arrimadas.

"I do not agree with how the situation in Ciudadanos Aragón has been managed or in accordance with the forms," ​​Fuertes explains by phone.

The party had been in the autonomous community for months capsizing due to internal fights.

The national leadership decided weeks ago not to hold primaries for fear of "a PP takeover from within" and a manager was established to resolve the situation.

According to several CS sources, the management asked the manager to propose the names of the most suitable candidates.

Two of those suggested were Carlos Ortas and Ramiro Domínguez, both deputies in the Aragonese Cortes and critics of the national leadership.

Finally, the executive has decided that Ortas is the candidate for the regional government and Daniel Pérez for the Zaragoza City Council.

Pérez, also a deputy in the Aragonese Parliament, 

From the top of the party they justify their decision like this: “In Aragon an agreement has been reached to present the best possible candidacies for Ciudadanos and for the Aragonese political center.

The agreement is the product of many hours of conversations between the party in Aragon and also with the party at the national level, thus beginning a new stage that we are facing with energy and responsibility.

The liberal formation will try to unite all the forces of the political center with Carlos Ortas at the head as president of CS Aragón”.

Several sources suggest that Ciudadanos is negotiating in the region with a split from the Aragonese Party (PAR), baptized as Tú Aragón, to appear in a coalition in May.


Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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