The Catalan President asks citizens for “explicit statements” supporting a new fiscal agreement with Spain
The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, also talked about the delays of August payments to social care organisations, and he “hoped to be in a better situation” next month. However Mas could not give “a total guarantee” as it depends on whether the Spanish Government activates the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomies. In fact, Mas urged the Spanish Government to do so at the end of this month and said it is “illogical” to make a grand announcement about the measure and then not implement it.
Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, asked citizens to make \u201Cexplicit statements\u201D backing a new fiscal agreement between Catalonia and Spain, showing the wide consensus and support this proposal has among Catalan citizens. Mas made an institutional declaration honouring the Catalan historian and politician Josep Maria Ainaud de Lasarte, who died in the early morning this Thursday. The Catalan President also made some political statements. He talked about the delays in the payments to social care organisations and he \u201Choped\u201D the situation will improve this month. \u201CI hope that by the end of August we will be able to make payments in a better way\u201D, he said. However, he could not give \u201Ca total guarantee\u201D because it depends on the Spanish Government activating the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomies. Therefore, Mas urged the Spanish Government to activate the fund by the end of the month, as it is still not in place. In fact, Mas said it was \u201Cillogical\u201D to make \u201Ca grand announcement\u201D of a measure that it is still not implemented, which causes the Autonomies to \u201Cstruggle to make payments at the end of the month\u201D. This fund had been created in order to tackle the current lack of liquidity amongst the Autonomies, since they cannot access international financial markets to get funds due to the high interest levels. However, Mas, who is the leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), warned about resisting the \u201Ctemptation to transform the fund in a control mechanism from a political point of view\u201D.
Mas sent a message to Catalan citizens asking for mobilisations in favour of a new fiscal agreement between Catalonia and Spain, guaranteeing a smaller contribution by Catalan taxpayers to the rest of Spain. For at least the last 26 years (the period when accurate data exists), Catalan citizens have been giving an average of 8.5% of their GDP each year to pay for services and infrastructures in the rest of Spain for solidarity purposes. In 2011, it represented \u20AC17 billion, when the Catalan Government had a deficit of \u20AC7 billion and had to make drastic budget cuts in basic public services and the entire public administration. Mas promised to \u201Cdo everything possible\u201D to defend this new economic agreement, which is supported by more than three quarters of Catalans according to the opinion polls, but he asked the citizens to actively engage themselves in order to show the wide consensus and support this proposal has in Catalonia, demonstrating that it is \u201Cnot only the proposal of a government or a political party, but the proposal of an entire country\u201D.