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The PP to finally block the Catalan Government’s budget

On Monday the People’s Party (PP) announced they were considering freezing the 2014 Catalan Government’s budget of €29.31 billion. The reason is that they include €5 million (0.017% of the total spending) to fund “electoral processes and citizen consultations”, which they fear could fund a self-determination vote. The Catalan Government has the power to organise a consultation process, as well as to modify small items once the budget is approved. The PP was waiting for the Spanish Finance Minister’s green light, since blocking the budget’s approval could have consequences on the objective to reduce public deficit and on meeting the targets imposed by the EU. Cristóbal Montoro argued that, since the blocking would “only last some 30 days”, there is no such danger.

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17 December 2013 08:27 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The People’s Party (PP) has confirmed this Tuesday they will block the approval of the Catalan Government’s budget for 2014. On Monday the Catalan leader of the PP, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, announced they were considering freezing Catalonia’s €29.31 billion budget. The reason is that they included €5 million (0.017% of the total spending) to fund “electoral processes and citizen consultations”, which they fear could fund a self-determination vote. The Catalan Government has the power to organise a consultation process, as well as to modify small items once the budget is approved. The PP was waiting for the green light of the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, since blocking the budget’s approval could have consequences on the objective to reduce public deficit and on meeting the targets imposed by the EU. New taxes will not be implemented on January 1st, neither additional spending control measures. However, Montoro argued that, since the blocking would “only last some 30 days”, there is no such danger according to him. To freeze the budget’s approval, the PP will turn to the Council for Constitutional Guarantees (CGE) – the Catalan body interpreting constitutional matters, which will put the new law on hold until it reaches a decision on the appeal. This means the budget will not be approved this week as scheduled and its implementation will be delayed.


The PP argues that the money allocated to fund “electoral processes and consultations” and some taxes “violate the Constitution and the Catalan Statute of Autonomy”. According to them, the €5 million might be used to organise “an illegal vote”. This amount represents 0.017% of the budget's total spending. The PP highlights that in previous years, the amount allocated to this item was significantly lower, with the only exception being in 2010. Indeed, the Catalan Parliament elections, which are entirely organised by Catalan institutions and cost €16 million were held in 2010, but other years the amount was below €1 million.

The PP has asked the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s) – which are the other two parties openly against independence – to join the initiative. The C’s has already said they will do so.

The PP holds 19 of the 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament, meaning 14.1% of the total number, and their highest ever representation in this chamber. Once the CGE will reach a decision, the budget is likely to be approved with the ‘yes’ votes of the CiU and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), representing 52.6% of the Parliament’s seats. However, around a month would have been lost regarding the implementation of new taxes and spending control mechanisms.

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  • The Spokesmen of the PP, Enric Millo (left), and the C's, Jordi Cañas (right) this Tuesday at the Catalan Parliament (by N. Julià)

  • The Spokesmen of the PP, Enric Millo (left), and the C's, Jordi Cañas (right) this Tuesday at the Catalan Parliament (by N. Julià)