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"Who the heck is funding whom? It's Catalonia that funds Spain" Mas answered Montoro

On Tuesday, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, stated before the Senate that the Spanish Government “was financing the services” the Catalan Executive provides. In an angry and agitated tone, Montoro concluded the intervention shouting “Do you understand?! Don’t you understand?!” to the Catalan Senator who had asked him about the recentralisation of power. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, answered the Spanish Finance Minister in a calm but angry tone: “the Catalan Executive finances public services thanks to the effort Catalan citizens make each day by producing, working and paying taxes. And from all the taxes paid by Catalan citizens, a large amount, as much as €16 billion leaves Catalonia and never comes back [after the Spanish Government’s redistribution]. Who the heck is funding whom? It’s Catalonia that funds the Spanish State from many points of view”.

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10 July 2013 11:16 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, answered the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, who on Tuesday stated before the Senate that the Spanish Government \u201Cwas financing the services\u201D the Catalan Executive provides. Furthermore, in an angry and agitated tone, Montoro concluded the intervention by shouting \u201CDo you understand?! Don\u2019t you understand?!\u201D to the Catalan Senator who had asked him about the recentralisation of power the Spanish Government is implementing. Mas was visibly upset by Montoro\u2019s statement and by the tone the Spanish Finance Minister had used. From Brazil, where the Catalan President is on an economic promotion trip, Mas answered Montoro in a calm but angry tone: \u201Cthe Catalan Executive finances public services thanks to the effort Catalan citizens make each day by producing, working and paying taxes. And, from all the taxes paid by Catalan citizens, a large amount \u2013 as much as \u20AC16 billion \u2013 leaves Catalonia and never comes back [after the Spanish Government\u2019s redistribution]. Who the heck is funding whom? It\u2019s Catalonia that funds the Spanish State from many points of view\u201D. The Catalan President finally told Montoro that \u201Cone cannot show off about what he does not have\u201D.


Catalans contributed with \u20AC16.5 billion to services and investments in the rest of Spain

On the same day that Mas answered Montoro, it was published that Catalonia was the third Autonomous Community paying more taxes per citizen in 2011 while it was the 10th in terms of public spending per citizen. Furthermore, in May the Catalan Finance Ministry published the so-called fiscal balances for 2010, showing that Catalan citizens had contributed with \u20AC16.5 billion to services and investments made in the rest of Spain. This amount represents 8.5% of Catalonia\u2019s GDP. The study stated that during the last 25 years Catalan citizens have been giving away a similar amount each year, while Catalan public services are under-budgeted.

Catalan Senators had asked Montoro about the recentralisation of power

The President of the Catalan Government wanted to personally answer Cristóbal Montoro, since the latter shouted before the Senate that the services provided by the Catalan Government were paid for thanks to the Spanish Executive. Mas, in a forceful tone replied to Montoro\u2019s statement. The Spanish Finance Minister had been asked about the money the Spanish Government owes the Catalan Executive (more than \u20AC8.3 billion according to the latest calculations) and the recentralisation process undertaken by the Spanish Government. The questions were asked by the Catalan Senators Esther Capella (from the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party, ERC) and Josep Lluís Cleries (from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition, CiU).

Capella had told Montoro to honour his own initiatives as well as the Spanish Constitution and the current legal framework and pay \u201Cthe amount the Spanish Government owes Catalonia for different items, which reaches more than \u20AC8 billion\u201D in the next 30 days. Montoro asked Capella for \u201Ca bit of coherence\u201D, since when her party (the ERC) run the Catalan Government, \u201Cthey left it in a state of bankruptcy and without paying bills\u201D.

Cleries, from the same party as Mas, asked Montoro about \u201Cthe plan to fatten up the Spanish Government\u201D while \u201Cthe Autonomous Communities were being weakened\u201D through financial asphyxia and a recentralisation of power. Cleries asked Montoro to pay the \u20AC8.3 billion and \u201Cto tighten the Spanish Government\u2019s belt\u201D, by \u201Cimplementing your own recipe\u201D.

Montoro shouted to a Catalan Senator \u201CDo you understand?! Don\u2019t you understand?!\u201D

The Spanish Finance Minister replied to Cleries in a quite agitated tone. Montoro stated \u201CIf the Catalan Government is financing its public services today it is thanks to the Government of Spain, which is bringing in all the funds\u201D. In addition, he said that \u201Cthe Catalan Government\u2019s problem is that it cannot go on the [international financial] markets. For this reason the Spanish State is there, to ask the markets for funds the Catalan Government cannot access\u201D. Then he immediately added to this by shouting \u201CIs it so difficult to understand?! Do you understand?! Don\u2019t you understand?!\u201D

\u201CWho the heck is funding whom?\u201D answered the Catalan President

The Catalan President seemed outraged by Montoro\u2019s statement and tone, and he wanted to send a clear and forceful message. \u201CThe Catalan Executive finances public services thanks to the effort Catalan citizens make each day by producing, working and paying taxes. And, from all the taxes paid by Catalan citizens, a large amount \u2013 as much as \u20AC16 billion \u2013 leaves Catalonia and never comes back [after the Spanish Government\u2019s redistribution]. Who the heck is funding whom? It\u2019s Catalonia that funds the Spanish State from many points of view\u201D. He finally told Montoro that \u201Cone cannot show off about what he does not have\u201D, insisting that all of the money given to the Catalan Government by the Spanish Executive comes from the Catalan tax payers.

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