Puigdemont announces 45 laws to put Catalonia “at the gates” of a new state
Coinciding with his first 100 days at the head of the government, Catalan President Calres Puigdemont announced 750 measures to be launched in this “exceptional term in office” including 45 laws which will put Catalonia “at the gates” of a new state. Puigdemont divided the government’s plan into three big areas. One is “guaranteeing the welfare state”, by “internal measures but also by defending from external threats”, he said, referring to the recent suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) of the Catalan law against energy poverty.Another core idea of this term in office is to promote the economic recovery and improve the administration’s efficiency and transparency. Puigdemont also emphasised that the government, “which is not temporary” bids for “institutional dialogue” and this is “permanent” and “has no limits”.
Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan President Carles Puigdemont announced 750 measures to be launched in this “exceptional term in office” including 45 laws which will put Catalonia “at the gates” of a new state. Coinciding with his first 100 days at the head of the government, Puigdemont explained the government’s plan and divided it into three big areas. One is “guaranteeing the welfare state” by “internal measures but also by defending from external threats”, he said, referring to the recent suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) of the Catalan law against energy poverty. Another core idea of this term in office is to promote the economic recovery and improve the administration’s efficiency and transparency. Puigdemont also emphasised that “hindering” these measures wouldn’t “hinder” Catalonia’s political process but “the people’s needs”. In this vein, and implicitly addressing the Spanish government, he emphasised that the government “which is not temporary” bids for “permanent institutional dialogue”.
The measures announced this Tuesday by Puigdemont aim to “revert the cuts and put Catalonia at the gates of its own state” and although they are set to be launched during this term in office, he admitted that they are conditioned by the budget proposal, which still has to be approved, and by the calendar, which may change depending on the potential new elections to be held in Spain in June.
Puigdemont also noted that the term in office will finish when the deployment of this plan is completed and divided it into three areas: “a fairer country, with a new welfare state for everybody; a better country, with more and better jobs and an economy at the service of the people; and a country with good practices and democratic regeneration”.
Guaranteeing the welfare state
The government’s plan “gives priority to social measures despite the economic and financial squeeze” and “despite the cuts announced by the Spanish government”, stated Puigdemont. “We will guarantee the welfare state with internal measures but also by defending from external threats”, he said, referring to the recent suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) of the Catalan law against energy poverty. In this vein, Puigdemont warned that “punishing the government affects the most vulnerable people of our society” as Catalonia’s political process “has much more to do with people rather than with finance, as many insist on asserting”.
Although the Catalan President didn’t specify how these measures would be funded, he named the recent tax on empty flats which the government established which has raised nearly €11.3 million in its first annual collection. “The tax was initially expected to raise only €8 million”, he stressed.
Puigdemont also referred to the government’s commitment to tackling the refugee crisis. “We want to be part of the solution and we call the Spanish government to be at our side on this”, he said. “We are part of Europe and as an active part of it we want to contribute to solidarity”.
Reverse the cuts and their consequences
“We haven’t recovered from the economic crisis yet, but we do have some positive signs”, stated Puigdemont. To “reverse the cuts and their consequences”, the Catalan President bids to “create more and better jobs, especially for the youngsters” but also “promote the industrial strategy in Catalonia and continue to attract foreign investment”. In this vein, he wanted to emphasise the good figures registered in 2015 regarding foreign investment. “Looking abroad is essential to recover from the economic crisis, to be more competitive, get better jobs and avoid offshoring”.
Puigdemont also emphasised the need to deploy “Catalonia’s Tax Agency” to be “at the side” of the contributors rather than “against them”. This would be a “key piece” to start building a new state but also to fight against fiscal fraud.
Within this section, he also stressed the need to launch key infrastructures such as the Mediterranean Railway Corridor and (the Spanish public train operator) RENFE’s short-distance services. “We don’t want to continue complaining to the Spanish government but rather have the competences to be able to manage it”, he stated. “Hindering the transfer of competences on this matter doesn’t hinder Catalonia’s political process but its people”.
Improving the administration’s efficiency and transparency
In this section, the government plan foresees the creation of an “ethical code for public servants”, “launching a transparency law” and promoting a “law of local government which would be ambitious and at the height of the country”.
Puigdemont also referred to Catalonia’s foreign action and insisted on the government’s will to “enhance the network of the government’s delegations” as well as approve Catalonia’s Law on Foreign Action.
Meeting with Rajoy
Puigdemont also referred to the first meeting he will hold with Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, scheduled for this Wednesday. Regarding the questions which will be discussed at the meeting, Puigdemont assured that Catalonia’s push for independence will be a core topic. “Otherwise, it would be nonsense”, he said “bearing in mind that this government emerged from a pro-independence majority in the Parliament”. He hoped for the “citizens’ demands” to be listened to during the meeting, as Catalonia’s push for independence “is not the property of a party or an institution” but “of a vast majority of the people”. Puigdemont assured that he aims for Rajoy to listen to the democratic mandate that emerged from the 27-S elections and to accept holding a referendum in Catalonia.