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Spanish 2022 budget allocates 17.2% of funds to Catalonia, below GDP share

Long-standing fiscal deficit complaint of pro-independence parties set to continue, despite more money granted than in 2021

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14 October 2021 03:54 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government's 2022 budget bill will see 17.2% of funds allocated to Catalonia, below its GDP share (19%). 

The Socialist-led cabinet wants to give €2.23 bn to Catalonia, more than last year, €1.99 bn, 16.5% of the total. 

Yet, the long-standing fiscal deficit complaint of pro-independence parties is set to continue, despite the fact that more money will be granted to Catalonia than in 2021. 

17.7% of the budget will go to Andalusia, a populous region in the south, followed by Catalonia, the second-most populous, with 17.2%. 9.3% will go to the Valencia region while 8.9% to Madrid, less than in 2021. 

More than half of funds to train network

On Thursday, the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera, said that over €1.2bn, more than half of the €2.23 bn, would be used to improve the train network. 

The commuter Rodalies service will be granted €680 million, with the high-speed trains being allocated €270 million and €243 more million will be used for train services considered as mandatory public service. On top of that, €135 million will be spent on buying material for Renfe, the Spanish government-owned company managing the main train network. 

Distribution per region

Catalonia is also set to receive another €200 m it was yet to obtain from the 2008 budget following a 2017 Supreme Court ruling.

Spain's finance minister, María Jesús Montero, stressed that this additional allocation means that Catalonia will receive 18.7% of funds, thereby pushing the figure closer to the Catalan share of Spanish GDP as the contentious Statute of Autonomy called for.

"I think this speaks for itself in terms of the commitment we have with all of the territories and also with Catalonia," Montero said on Wednesday. 

According to her, the amount of money set aside for Catalonia over the last four years has been 37.6% greater than during the last four years of the conservative People's Party government under Mariano Rajoy.

Per region within Catalonia, however, this distribution is not as favorable: the northern Catalonia area of Girona is set to receive €108.13 m, almost 40% less than in 2021, while €76 m have been allocated to Lleida, a 3.7% decrease on this year, and the southern Tarragona and Terres de l'Ebre will be given €282.2 m, 31.6% less. 

Only the Barcelona area will have more funds next year: €1,765.3 bn, up 33% from 2021. 

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  • Spain's finance minister, María Jesús Montero, presenting the 2022 budget bill in Congress on October 13, 2021 (by Andrea Zamorano)

  • Spain's finance minister, María Jesús Montero, presenting the 2022 budget bill in Congress on October 13, 2021 (by Andrea Zamorano)

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