Business associations criticise Madrid’s report for a lack of accuracy while stating that 1,060 companies left Catalonia
Catalonia’s main SME association PIMEC and the Catalan Business Circle (CCN) have criticised the regional Government of Madrid for issuing a report not sufficiently backed-up by economic data. In addition, they have accused Madrid’s Finance Minister, who presented the report, of offering a politically-biased version by saying that companies have left Catalonia due to the self-determination debate. PIMEC and CCN stated they do not have data supporting Madrid’s statement. On the contrary, they have data proving that foreign investment has not reduced. In addition, CCN accused the Spanish Government of building a “Greater Madrid” as an economic centre, at the expense of other areas such as Catalonia. PIMEC emphasised the Catalan industrial tradition and the vigour of its economy, although admitted that taxation is higher in Catalonia than in Madrid.
Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday Catalonia’s main SME association PIMEC and the Catalan Business Circle (CCN) have criticised the regional Government of Madrid for issuing a report that was not sufficiently backed-up by economic data, they argued. In addition, PIMEC and CCN have accused Madrid’s Finance Minister, Enrique Osorio who presented the report on Monday, of offering a politically-biased version when he said that companies left Catalonia also because of the self-determination debate. PIMEC and CCN stated they do not have data supporting Madrid’s statement. PIMEC’s President, Josep Gonzàlez, considered the statements made by Osorio “lamentable” and asked him for “seriousness” and “a cold analysis” of the figures. The two Catalan business associations have data that proves that foreign investment has not been reduced in the last few months. In addition, CCN’s Secretary General, Joan Canadell, accused the Spanish Government of building a “Greater Madrid” as an economic centre, at the expense of other areas such as Catalonia. PIMEC emphasised Catalonia’s industrial tradition, its infrastructures and the internationalisation of its economy, while comparing it to Madrid’s economy. However, González admitted that in Catalonia “we have higher taxation levels than those we would like”.
In an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, PIMEC’s President stated that “there is no reduction” in foreign investment in Catalonia in the last year, and that Catalonia “has an industrial tradition and export infrastructures that Madrid does not have”. However he admitted that Madrid has a better tax environment and other advantages by being Spain’s capital. Gonzàlez also explained that the Catalan companies that are shutting down their businesses suffer from “an economic asphyxia” due to a lack of banking credit. He regretted than the European Union and the Spanish Government have been more concerned about saving the banks than the business network of SMEs.
The Secretary General of CCN stated in an interview with CNA that Madrid’s message was “clearly political and without an economic logics” behind it. According to Canadell, Madrid “should not show off” about economic figures, since its economy largely benefits from the Spanish Government’s policies that aim to build a “Greater Madrid”, concentrating economic power in Spain’s capital and building large infrastructures following this model. Canadell insists that this is done at the expense of more competitive areas and economies, such as Catalonia. He also added that the reiteration of such policies during decades is one of the reasons behind the support for Catalonia’s independence from Spain.