Spain to control Catalan finances with “specific measures”
The Spanish government will impose special conditions on Catalonia when transferring funds from the Spanish Liquidity Point (FLA). The aim is to guarantee the “transparency” and “the legal compliance of the payments” as well as “make sure that the funds are destined for the planned activities”, stated Spanish vice-president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría this Friday. She justified these “specific and additional controls” due to “Catalonia’s singularity” and “the non-fulfilment of its obligations”. Catalonia is set to receive 3,034 million euros from the FLA, which will be subject to these new measures. Current Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, responded that the transferring of FLA funds “shouldn’t be conditioned” to whether the Spanish government “likes the Catalan politics or not”. He added that the “dramatisation” of the announcement is part of the 20-D electoral campaign.
Barcelona (CNA).- Catalonia will be the only Autonomous Community in Spain whose part of the Spanish Liquidity Point (FLA) will be subject to extra control measures. The Spanish vice-president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, announced this Friday “specific and additional controls” due to “Catalonia’s singularity” and “the non-fulfilment of its obligations”. Catalonia is set to receive 3,034 million euros from the FLA but this will be subject to these new measures to guarantee that it isn’t used for “any illegality”, stated Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro. Current Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, responded that the transferring of FLA funds “shouldn’t be conditioned “to whether the Spanish government “likes the Catalan politics or not”. He added that the “dramatisation” of the announcement is part of the 20-D electoral campaign.
Sáenz de Santamaría said that the extra measures are being imposed due to the downgrading of debt by many credit rating agencies, the “incorrect accountancy” of the 1,318 million spent in other years and the “non-payment of the pharmacies debt that many have claimed”. However, a few weeks ago, Spanish Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro warned that “the FLA won’t fund pro-independence whims”. Montoro assured this Friday that Catalonia “is a risk for the general interest” and warned that funds from the FLA will now be subject to extra control measures in order to make sure that they are not used for “any illegality”.
Catalonia, the Autonomous Community which gets the highest amount
Catalonia is the Autonomous Community which will get more money from this new FLA line, some 3,034 million euros. This amount will be paid directly by the Spanish State to the suppliers through the Official Credit Institute (ICO), giving priority to those supplying basic public services, such as education, health and social services. The 3,034 euros assigned this year to Catalonia includes the pending 2,600 million euros from 2014’s FLA, which the Catalan government repeatedly asked for in order to pay pending debts, such as those from pharmacies and medical centres.
Mas-Colell considered the announcement an electoral act
“There are already conditionings, as Catalonia has already been taken over. I don’t know what else they want” stated current Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell. According to Mas-Colell, the Spanish government already has “an army of public servants” focused on sending financial information and invoices to the Spanish Government and added that asking for more “may lead to the collapse” of the Catalan public administration. The transferring of the FLA “should not be conditioned” by what the Spanish government thinks about the Catalan politics he commented, and assured that if that were the case “it would be very grave as that would mean that a line which should not be crossed, would have been crossed”.
Mas-Colell also added that he considered the “dramatisation”of the Spanish government an electoral event of the 20-D electoral campaign.