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Spain's draft budget clears first hurdle in fragmented parliament

MADRID, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Spain’s minority leftist government came a step closer to passing the country’s first budget since 2018 on Thursday after mustering enough support in the deeply fragmented parliament to take the bill through to a second stage of debate.

By 198 to 150 votes, and with no abstentions, the lower house rejected the opposition’s proposal to send back the draft budget submitted by the government in October.

But the bill faces many more hurdles before it can be approved and signed into law as political parties can now propose detailed amendments to its contents, which can sometimes number several thousands.

Under the current proposal, the government plans to raise taxes on large companies and high earners to boost revenues by 6.8 billion euros in 2021, giving it more ammunition to spend its way out of a steep coronavirus-induced economic contraction. (Reporting by Nathan Allen and Belén Carreño, editing by Andrei Khalip)