The Spanish Government refuses Catalonia’s petition to internally split the deficit target more proportionally
“Absurd, useless, dreadful, and inopportune” is what Spain’s Finance Minister thinks about the Catalan Government’s proposal to internally split the 5.8% deficit target for 2012 more proportionally. The Catalan Government has asked for the Autonomous Communities’ deficit to increase from 1.5% to 1.7% of Spain’s GDP, and the deficit generated by the services directly managed by the Spanish Government to fall from 4% to 3.8%. The Spanish Government believes that it has already undertaken severe austerity measures and that now it is the turn of the Autonomies.
Madrid (ACN).- The Spanish Government completely refuses a debate on how to internally split Spain’s deficit target for 2012, set by Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at 5.8% of the country’s GDP. The Catalan Government considers the internal distribution of this deficit target among the different government levels “unfair”, “not serious, not rigorous” and it is “not proportional” to the spending responsibilities of the Autonomies, which correspond to almost 40% of Spain’s total public spending. On Tuesday the Catalan Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, believes that “Catalonia’s austerity efforts” undertaken in 2011 and 2012 has given them “the authority to ask for greater flexibility”, much the same way Rajoy asked at European level. The Catalan Government is not asking to increase Spain’s total public deficit for 2012, but to increase the part of this deficit allocated to the Autonomous Communities. On Tuesday the Spanish Government completely closed the door to a debate on the topic. In the morning, the Spanish Deputy Minister for Public Administration stated that the Spanish Government “had already done enough” and that “now is the turn of the Autonomies” to reduce their deficit. Catalonia reduced its deficit in 2011, from 4.22% to 3.29%, according to the Catalan Government, which does not take into account the funds the Spanish Government was legally obliged to pay last year but did not. In the afternoon, all the Autonomies met with the Spanish Government in the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council (CPFF). The Catalan Government asked the Spanish Government to modify the internal allocation of deficit targets to comply with the 5.8% but to give more room to the Autonomies. The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, asked the services directly managed by the Spanish Government to fall from a 4% deficit to 3.8% of Spain’s GDP, while the Autonomies’ deficit would increase from a 1.5% deficit to 1.7% of Spain’s GDP. The Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, considered the proposal to be “absurd, useless, dreadful, and inopportune”.
For more information, please visit the related news:
- Every party in Catalonia, including the PP, asks for more proportional deficit targets in 2012 (from Monday March 5th)
- The Spanish Government sets new deficit targets without agreement from neither the EU nor the Autonomous Communities (from Friday March 2nd)