Catalan chemists have already received 74% of the pending arrears
The Catalan Chemists’ Professional Association, in charge of distributing the money from partially-subsidised prescribed drugs, has already received €309 million of the €416 million arrears payments due.The Professional Association announced the “immediate distribution” of the money received. Two weeks ago, Catalan chemists went on strike for these arrears, urging the Catalan and Spanish Governments to issue the payments. In theory the Catalan Executive is in charge of paying them, but to do so it needs a previous transfer from the Spanish Government. The necessary transfers from Madrid have been arriving intermittently over the last year and on many occasions with considerable delay. For these reasons, chemists protested on the 7th November in front of the Spanish Government’s Delegation in Barcelona.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Chemists’ Professional Association, in charge of distributing the money from partially-subsidised prescribed drugs, has already received €309 million of the €416 million arrears payments due. The Professional Association announced the news on Wednesday afternoon, as well as the “immediate distribution” of the money received. Two weeks ago, Catalan chemists went on strike for these arrears, urging the Catalan and Spanish Governments to issue the arrears payments. In theory, the Catalan Executive is in charge of paying chemists the money corresponding to the public healthcare’s partial subsidies for prescribed drugs. However, in order to do so, Catalonia’s Executive needs a previous transfer from the Spanish Government. The problem is that over the last year, Madrid’s transfers have been arriving intermittently and with considerable delay on many occasions. For these reasons, chemists protested on the 7th November in front of the Spanish Government’s Delegation in Barcelona during their strike. Back then, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, announced that he would issue the pending payments directly, rather than sending the money to the Catalan Executive. €309 million arrived on Wednesday, two weeks after the strike, through the Spanish Government’s Service Provider Fund; this amount corresponds to 74% of the pending arrears. The money covers payments that should have been made in January, February and July, funding drugs prescribed during November and December 2012 and May 2013.
The Catalan Government promises to pay November and December invoices before the end of the year
The remaining €107 million corresponds to a payment initially scheduled for 5thNovember, to fund drugs prescribed during September. The next scheduled payment, amounting to €118 million, should be issued on the 5th December to fund drugs sold during October. According to the Chemists’ Professional Association, the Catalan Government has committed to paying these two amounts before the end of the year. This way, all the pending invoices from chemists should be resolved. If normality is restored, on the 5th January the Catalan Government should issue the payment for drugs sold in November and, on the 5th February, those from December.
The Spanish Government creates confusion regarding the payments
However, the Catalan Government payments are conditional on the punctual arrival of the transfers from the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomous Communities (FLA) from the Spanish Executive, which is the only source of liquidity the Catalan Executive is allowed by Madrid. There has been some confusion during the last month about the Spanish Government cancelling a scheduled transfer of €1.76 billion from the FLA to Catalonia. The Spanish Finance Minister Montoro announced in October that he was cancelling this transfer. However, on Tuesday evening, he “regretted” the “confusion” and announced that the money would be sent “in the short term”, although he did not confirm that it would be before the end of the year. The money from the FLA is not a simple transfer of money, but a loan the Spanish Government gives to the Catalan Executive, which has to be repaid later with significant interest, although there is a two-year grace period. However, the Spanish Government forgets to mention it makes money out of it and tends to present the FLA like a donation to the Autonomous Communities, which are not allowed by Madrid to turn towards international financial markets to get liquidity.