Spain passes its budget; Ecuadorian presidential elections; Trump investigating trade abuses

These three things will change the world today.

1. Spanish government should have enough support to pass its budget

Spain’s budget minister Cristobal Montoro has said the minority government should get enough parliamentary support to approve the budget today.

The vote will be a key test for prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s minority government who has struggled to maintain control in parliament after two inconclusive elections left the country without a functioning government for nearly a year.

The delayed budget, which will attempt to bring down Spain’s large public deficit, needs 176 votes to pass into law. Rajoy’s conservative People’s Party (PP) has 137 seats in the 350-seat parliament and needs the backing of opposition parties to get the full number needed.

The cabinet is set to approve the budget later today with support from other parties.

Spain needs to bring its deficit below three percent by 2018 or it will face fines from the European Union.

2. Ecuadorian presidential elections and Julian Assange

The second round of the Ecuadorian presidential elections will take place this weekend, and the winner could determine the fate of Julian Assange.

Depending on the outcome this weekend, Assange’s nearly five-year stay in the country’s London embassy could be brought to an end.

If the right-wing opposition candidate Lasso wins against the current left-wing president Correa’s favourite, Moreno, who has supported Assange’s stay in the embassy, then he could be left without a home.

In an interview with the Guardian in February, Lasso said:

 “The Ecuadorian people have been paying a cost that we should not have to bear. We will cordially ask Senor Assange to leave within 30 days of assuming a mandate.”

According to Deutsche Welle, recent polls are giving Moreno a slight edge over Lasso with 52 percent chance of winning, compared to Lasso’s 48.

3. Trump’s new executive orders will investigate trade abuses

US president Donald Trump is set to sign new executive orders today to identify abuses that have caused massive trade deficits in the country.

As well, he will also order a clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports.

One of Trump’s campaign promises was to combat the flow of unfairly traded imports in the US.

The new study will investigate this and be used to underpin the administration’s future trade policy decisions. The study is expected to be completed in 90 days, which will coincide with the expected start of negotiations to revamp the US-Canada-Mexico North America Free Trade Agreement.