Madrid’s seizure of Catalan finances has cost €475m

Economy secretary slams central government’s handling of spending in Catalonia, while ‘Nature’ magazine says measure threatens research


The Catalan secretary of Economy, Pere Aragonès
The Catalan secretary of Economy, Pere Aragonès / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 28, 2017 07:11 PM

The seizing of Catalonia’s public finances by the Spanish government has so far cost 475 million euros, according to Catalan economy secretary, Pere Aragonès. Talking to the Catalan TV3 television channel, Aragonés said that the restrictions on the Catalan executive’s budgetary powers had affected the funding of areas like “research, culture and support for industry.” The secretary also criticized the Spanish executive for taking 12 days to pay the Catalan government’s bills for essential services.

Spain’s central government formally took over Catalonia’s 1.4 billion euro monthly budget on September 21, so as to prevent any public money from being spent on the unilateral independence referendum to be held on Sunday. Effectively, the Catalan government’s bank accounts were blocked, with responsibility for public spending in Catalonia passing directly to the treasury in Madrid.