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Rajoy rules out new fiscal deal for Catalonia

The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, is not going to offer a new fiscal deal to Catalonia similar to the one already enjoyed by the Basque Country and Navarre. In an interview with Spanish radio, Rajoy said that he is against such a deal because it would “create enormous problems” in Spain. The People’s Party leader also confirmed that he will never allow a referendum on independence in Catalonia. “I cannot do it and I don’t want to do it”, he said, after the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, stressed in Brussels that his government wants a referendum agreed with Spain. Rajoy warned that he won’t act “against Spanish unity, national sovereignty or the equality of all Spaniards”. “For me, the 7 million Spaniards that live in Catalonia are the same as those in the rest of Spain”, he stated.

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27 January 2017 03:05 PM

by

ACN

Madrid (CNA).- The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, is not going to offer a new fiscal deal to Catalonia similar to the one already enjoyed by the Basque Country and Navarre. In an interview with Spanish radio Onda Cero, Rajoy said that he is against such a deal because it would “create enormous problems” in Spain. The People’s Party leader also confirmed that he will never allow a referendum on independence in Catalonia. “I cannot do it and I don’t want to do it”, he said, after the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, stressed in Brussels that his government wants a referendum agreed with Spain. Rajoy warned that he won’t act “against Spanish unity, national sovereignty or the equality of all Spaniards”. “For me, the 7 million Spaniards that live in Catalonia are the same as those in the rest of Spain”, he stated.


“I am not in favour of a fiscal system for Catalonia similar to the concert (the Basque deal), because it is not foreseen in the Constitution, they didn’t want it back in the day and it would create enormous problems for the whole country”, said the Spanish President during his interview. Rajoy stressed that he can only discuss “investments for Catalonia”, and warned that his government “has prevented the bankruptcy of the Catalan Government over the last few years”.

According to Rajoy, the Spanish Government has “paid providers and the debts of the Catalan Government” and is its “biggest creditor”. The instrument used to do that, however, is a loan that the Catalan Government has to repay with interest. The Catalan Government usually blames its financial problems on the historic fiscal deficit with Spain, which accounts for more than 8% of GDP per year. According to pro-independence politicians, or even those that reject independence but want a new fiscal deal for Catalonia, if Barcelona could manage directly all its taxes as the Basque Country does it wouldn’t have fiscal difficulties.

In 2016, the Catalan economy grew by 3.4%, leading the recovery in Spain. In fact, Catalonia was also the Autonomous Community which created the most jobs last year, up to 24% in the whole of Spain. Catalan exports are also growing at record levels: the latest figures, from November, show a 6.8% yearly increase. Exports from Catalonia to the world represent almost a quarter of all Spanish exports. Meanwhile, up to 22,246 companies were created in Catalonia last year, an 18.6% increase in comparison to 2015. Catalonia also hosts about 6,500 multinational companies.

 

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  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont during his first meeting with Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy (by ACN)

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont during his first meeting with Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy (by ACN)