The Catalan Government accuses the Spanish Executive of invading competences and duplicating rules and services

The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, presented a report that analyses the normative and organisation duplicities at Spanish and Catalan level. The study, compiled by a Catalan Government's institute, concludes that the Spanish Government permanently invades Catalonia’s exclusive competences, both at normative and organisational levels. According to Homs, the Spanish Government’s attitude creates “contradictions” and “legal uncertainty”, which harms investments and the economy. Homs accused the Spanish Government of “keeping important administrative structures” despite having decentralised the competence, as is the case with tourism.


October 24, 2012 01:15 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- According to a study presented on Tuesday by the Catalan Government, the Spanish Executive has the generalised attitude of invading devolved competences, while duplicating rules and administrative structures. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Executive, Francesc Homs, accused the Spanish Government of creating “contradictions” that result in “legal uncertainty” that “make investments difficult and economic recovery impossible”. The study, compiled by the Institute of Autonomic Studies – which is run by the Catalan Government, reveals that the Spanish Government has been “constantly issuing new laws and rules” on powers run by the Catalan Government, stated Homs, particularly in the last decade. Furthermore, the regulation is so detailed that it leaves almost no room for the Catalan Government to create its own regulations on the subject and sub-subjects. Besides, the study also emphasises the duplication at organisational level. Homs mentioned the example of tourism powers, which have been completely devolved and, in principle, are exclusively managed at Catalan level. The Spanish Government has its own Tourism Department (within the Industry Ministry) as well as the Spanish Tourism Institute. Despite having decentralised this competence, the Spanish Executive still employs 5,084 civil servants working in tourism, managing a €991 million budget. Additionally, Homs stated that Spain ranks very low on bureaucracy agility and legal certainty, “at a similar level to Uganda”, he said.

“This is what harms the economy”, Homs replied to Montoro

“This is what harms the economy, this is what does not work”,not the debate on Catalonia’s political future, according to Homs. The Catalan Spokesperson was replying to the Spanish Finance Minister, Crístobal Montoro, who earlier on Tuesday had criticised the Catalan President, Artur Mas, for “lifting political flags up” because “he does not know how to fight against the economic crisis”. Montoro also asked for “institutional loyalty” to “work in unity to leave the economic crisis behind”. Showing the press a copy of the report, Homs stated “this is the only flag we are lifting up”, which underlines “a regulation mess” created by the Spanish Government.

“In the light of this report, we need some kind of our own state”

Homs emphasised that “in the end, who pays for the mess are the citizens and companies of our country [Catalonia]”. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government concluded that “it is obvious that, in the light of this report, the absurd duplicities and the consequences they have for people, we need some kind of our own state”.

Duplicities in most of the areas and sub-areas

Last May, the Catalan Government asked the Institute for Autonomic Studies (IEA) to run an analysis of the legislative and organisational duplicities between the Catalan and Spanish executives. The IEA issued a report of more than 300 pages, detailing firstly legislative duplicities and later the organisation ones. According to the analysis, there are legislative duplicities in most of the sectors and activities, including agriculture, hunting, fishing water, foundations, retail, consumption, education, housing, industry, environment, media, local administration, social services, tourism, and town planning. Furthermore, there are also duplicated structures, in fields such as consumption, culture, sport, youth, environment, genre equality, local administrations, social services, family, healthcare, labour relations, employment, and tourism.

Homs asked the Spanish Government for “institutional loyalty”

Homs presented the study to the press on Tuesday and underlined that despite having transferred certain powers, the Spanish Government still keeps “important administrative structures” working on such areas. “They should not work on such areas” since they are run by the Catalan Government, in the case of Catalonia, but they keep most of the previous structure and staff. According to Homs, “institutional loyalty” would be to reduce these structures and not invade competences.

When asked about a report stating the contrary issued by the Spanish Government and underlining the existence of a Catalan Ombudsman while a Spanish Ombudsman already existed, Homs stated that the Catalan Ombudsman is recognised by the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, approved by the Spanish Parliament and validated by the Spanish Constitutional Court. Therefore, Homs asked the Spanish Government to respect the laws approved at Spanish level and “to be more consistent”.