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Puigdemont praises Catalonia’s economic strength despite Spain’s “negligence”

“For the last few years, especially since Catalonia passed the new Statute of Autonomy in 2010, Spain has neglected its duties towards Catalonia”, stated on Thursday Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont. In front of an auditorium full of businessmen and with Spain’s King, Philip VI and Spanish Vice President and Minister for Territorial Administrations, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, also present, Puigdemont emphasised Catalonia’s leading role in terms of business and praised its economic strength. During the ‘Ferrer Salat’ awards, given by Catalonia’s largest employers’ associations in recognition of the most outstanding businesses, Puigdemont lamented the Spanish Government’s attitude and accused it of refusing to listen to the citizens’ demands, which is an “indispensable condition” for having “the productive dialogue we all hope for” and which is the legal basis of a democracy. 

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18 November 2016 02:20 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, emphasised Catalonia’s leading role in terms of business and praised its economic power, especially since 2010 and said that this was the case despite Spain having “neglected its duties towards Catalonia”. He lamented the Spanish Government’s attitude and accused it of refusing to listen to the citizens’ demands, which is an “indispensable condition” for having “the productive dialogue we all hope for” and which is the legal basis of a democracy.  Puigdemont made these statements during the ‘Ferrer Salat’ awards, given by ‘Foment del Treball’, Catalonia’s largest employers’ associations, in recognition of the most outstanding businesses. The ceremony was attended by Spain’s King, Philip VI and Spanish Vice President and Minister for Territorial Administrations, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría. 


“For the last few years, especially since Catalonia passed the new Statute of Autonomy in 2010, Spain has neglected its duties towards Catalonia”, stated Puigdemont. The Catalan President accused the Spanish Government of failing to resolve Catalonia’s problems regarding its infrastructure, which affects “both citizens and business” and also lamented Spain’s judicialisation of politics and international relations, even if its purposes were commercially oriented. “[The Spanish State] doesn’t heed the citizens’ demands, which is an indispensable condition for us to have the productive dialogue that we all hope for and which is also the legal basis of a democracy.” 

Puigdemont also presented those figures which back Catalonia’s leading role in terms of business. He emphasised that whereas Catalonia represents 16% of Spain’s population, it generates nearly 20% of Spain’s GDP, and leads the job creation and unemployment reduction. He also pointed to the fact that 26% of Spain’s exports are made by Catalan companies, a figure which reaches 29% when it comes to high-tech exports. “We have achieved such economic and business leadership without the appropriate tools”, he lamented.

“Neither resigned, nor conformist”

Puigdemont emphasised that Catalonia has been able to push the economy without having its own tax system, nor having the power to regulate the labour market in order to adapt it to companies’ needs and “obviously without having the ‘capital status’”, he stated.

“Could you imagine how far we could go if our ports and airports were autonomously managed, as happens in the rest of Europe?” he asked rhetorically, “or if the Mediterranean Railway was a reality rather than only on paper? Or if our welfare state had a fair funding system, or if the promises of investment had been fulfilled?”, he continued.

In spite of all this, the Catalan President emphasised that Catalonia “is neither a resigned, nor a conformist society”, rather on the contrary, it “aims to progress” driven by the social, civil and business leaders. 

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  • Catalan President Carles Puigdemont during a speech in the auditorium of 'Foment del Treball' the 17th of November 2016 (by ACN)

  • Catalan President Carles Puigdemont during a speech in the auditorium of 'Foment del Treball' the 17th of November 2016 (by ACN)