The Spanish and Catalan Governments hold several high-level bilateral meetings in Barcelona on the same day
On the occasion of the kick-off of the 2013 Barcelona International Motor Show, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and 3 ministers (Finance, Economy and Industry) visited Barcelona on Friday. They held several meetings with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell. Mas and Rajoy talked for 20 minutes about Catalonia’s deficit target for 2013 and the budget for this year. Officially, they have not discussed the self-determination process. In addition, Mas also met with Luís De Guindos, Spain’s Minister for the Economy. Mas-Colell met with De Guindos and Cristóbal Montoro, the Spanish Finance Minister.
Barcelona (ACN).- On Friday, several members of the Catalan and the Spanish Government held a series of bilateral and discrete meetings in Barcelona, apparently to discuss Catalonia\u2019s deficit target for 2013. On the occasion of the kick-off of the 2013 Barcelona International Motor Show, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and 3 Spanish Ministers \u2013 those responsible for Finance, Economy and Industry \u2013 visited Barcelona on the same day. They held several meetings with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell. Around lunch time, Mas and Rajoy talked for 20 minutes about the deficit objective for 2013 and Catalonia\u2019s budget for this year. Officially, they have not discussed the self-determination process. Sources close to Mas stated that he told Rajoy that without a higher deficit target for Catalonia, near 2%, he would not be able to present the budget for this year. In addition, Mas also met with Luís De Guindos, Spain\u2019s Minister for the Economy, according to Spanish Government sources. On top of this, Mas-Colell met with Cristóbal Montoro, the Spanish Finance Minister, and later with De Guindos. The Catalan Finance Minister qualified his talk with Montoro as \u201Ca regular working meeting\u201D. No details about any of the high-level meetings have been disclosed.
Since the elections were held in November in Catalonia, the Catalan Government have postponed the presentation of a budget for 2013 and it is still operating with the 2012 budget. The President of the Catalan Government and the Catalan Finance Minister were delaying the approval of the 2013 budget while they were waiting for the European Union\u2019s revision of Spain\u2019s deficit targets. This happened last week and now they are expecting the Spanish Government to do the same with the deficit targets of the Autonomous Communities. Brussels agreed to a 6.3% deficit objective for the entire Spanish public sector for 2013, when the previous target was set at 4.5%. However the Spanish Government is only allowing the Autonomous Communities a 1.2% deficit target, which represents 19% of the total deficit allowed by the EU despite the Autonomous Communities running around 36% of Spain\u2019s public spending and exclusively managing the basic Welfare State services (such as education and healthcare). The Catalan Government is trying to get the Spanish Government to allow a 2.1% deficit, corresponding to a third of Spain\u2019s deficit. One of the formulas on the table is to set asymmetrical deficit targets for the different Autonomous Communities, in the same way that the EU sets different deficit objectives for the different Member States. Sources from the Catalan Government hope that the final decision will be adopted in the coming weeks.