andreu mas-colell

The Catalan Government is studying legal options to oblige the Spanish Government to pay the money it owes them

December 7, 2011 10:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Government refuses to transfer some of the funds that it is legally obliged to pay Catalonia in 2011. Without this money, the Catalan Government will have difficulties meeting the deficit objective for this year. The Catalan Minister for Finance, Andreu Mas-Colell, considers the stance of the Zapatero Government to be “rude” and ignorant to the needs of Catalonia. Furthermore it forces the finances of Catalonia to be put in the spotlight. Every single Catalan political group, including the Socialists and the People’s Party, have criticised the decision of the soon to be former Spanish Prime Minister, and have expressed their support for Mas-Colell.

The Catalan Government issues 3,700 million euros in one and two year retail bonds

October 24, 2011 10:19 PM | CNA

The 3.7 billion euros may be increased to 4 billion euros depending on demand. After the first day, the offer of bonds raised “high interest” according to financial sources. Citizens will be allowed to buy a minimum quantity of 1,000 euros and a maximum of 2 million euros. The Government is issuing bonds that expire in one year at an interest rate of 4.75%, and others expiring in two years at an interest rate of 5.25%. The Catalan Finance Minister stated that this bond offer is “safe and attractive”. It is the third emission of retail bonds in the Catalan Government’s history. The current bond emission mainly aims to replace those from the first emission, which expire next November 21st.

The Catalan Minister of Finance meets with City investors and the Financial Times

October 14, 2011 11:23 PM | CNA / Laura Pous

Andreu Mas-Colell, former Harvard Professor and the current Catalan Finance Minister, travelled to London to meet with financial representatives. The objective is to explain, first-hand, the Catalan Government’s austerity plans and its efforts to reduce the deficit and to foster the economic recovery. Mas-Colell met with City investors, banks and media, such as the ‘Financial Times’.

Catalonia sets its own deficit limit at 0.14% of GDP from 2018

September 28, 2011 01:29 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government has approved the new Law of Budget Stability, which foresees a gradual and significant reduction of the deficit in the following years. The law permanently fixes an allowed deficit limit of 0.14% of Catalonia’s GDP from 2018, two years earlier than the deadline required by the Spanish Constitution’s modification. According to the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, the law demonstrates Catalonia’s “strong commitment to budget stability”. In addition, the law creates a fund to return public debt, which will be filled with any additional revenues or budget surplus.

The external audit on the previous Catalan Government finances confirms a deficit previously predicted of 4.2% for 2010

September 21, 2011 01:48 AM | CNA

The current Catalan Government, which took office last Christmas, hired an external auditor to better understand the state of the public finances. Deloitte has increased the Government’s deficit for 2010, from 3.86% to 4.2%, in line with the last data known and internally audited. The Catalan Minister for the Economy, Andreu Mas-Colell, explained that “one out of every three euros spent [in 2010] was not covered by tax revenues”. The main opposition party, which formed part of the previous Government and was in charge of finances, stated that their management cannot be made responsible for the deficit increase, as the deficit calculation criteria has changed.

The European Commission recognises Catalonia’s “budget cuts of unprecedented proportions” to reduce the deficit

June 9, 2011 05:41 PM | CNA / Albert Segura / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The European Commission also recognised "a different effort" to the rest of Spain’s Autonomous Communities. Brussels said so when on Tuesday it asked Spain “to strictly control” the public “deficit and debt of regional governments”, the day after Moody’s rating agency warned about Catalonia’s expected deficit for 2011. The Spanish Government took note from this particular recommendation but not the other made by Brussels, which included increasing energy taxes and VAT. The Catalan Government criticised Moody’s for “creating alarm” with assessments that do not take into account the whole situation. In addition, it denounced how the Spanish Government has reduced its own deficit by transferring it to the Autonomous Communities.

CiU abolishes the Inheritance Tax with PP’s votes in the middle of the debate over the Catalan Government’s finances

June 1, 2011 11:19 PM | CNA / Rafa Garrido / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Parliament approved the modification of the Inheritance Tax, which is practically eliminated among couples, sons, daughters, parents and grandparents. It was an electoral promise of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), running the Catalan Government. With this reform 150 million euros will be lost in 2011 and 102 million in 2012. The Left-Wing opposition heavily criticises eliminating revenues while budget cuts are being implemented, in an “unfair decision” that “only benefits the richest”.

Opposition criticises the Catalan Government’s budget and the Spanish Government warns of not meeting the deficit objective

June 1, 2011 12:03 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

After the presentation of the Catalan Government’s budget proposal at the Catalan Parliament, opposition parties criticised its content and the lack of debate on the subject. The Catalan Government needs support from opposition MPs or at least their abstention to approve the budget, which foresees a 2.66% deficit for 2011. The Spanish Vice President for Economy Elena Salgado insists that the mechanisms of deficit control “will be strictly implemented”.

The Catalan Budget for 2011 includes a 10% expenditure cut and a public deficit of 2.66%

June 1, 2011 12:01 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Finance Minister presented the Catalan Government’s budget for 2011, which totals 39,354 million euros. For the first time, the budget will see a decrease in comparison to the previous year. Public expenditure is reduced by 10%, brought to 2007 levels. The public deficit is also reduced, but only to 2.66%. The Catalan Minister states that if the Spanish Government wants Catalonia to reach the 1.3% objective, it needs to show institutional loyalty and transfer the money due for 2011 instead of delaying it and calculating smaller amounts.

20 years since the creation of Catalonia’s first private university, the Universitat Ramon Llull

May 12, 2011 03:57 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Universitat Ramon Llull (URL) was created 20 years ago and brought together several prestigious educational institutions, such as ESADE, IQS and Blanquerna. Over the last 20 years, the university has gained recognition and is now on the European Association of Universities’ board. Banco Santander’s President Emilio Botín, the Spanish Minister for Education and the Catalan political class gathered for the 20th anniversary celebration.

The Catalan Government’s budget for 2011 will have around a 2% deficit and will increase the share for healthcare, education and social services

April 30, 2011 02:11 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Minister for Finance Andreu Mas-Colell has unveiled the main guidelines for the budget proposal for 2011, which he said are shaped with “austerity, seriousness and credibility”. Public expenditure will be cut by 10%, although he warns that it is impossible to meet the 1.3% deficit objective, as it is a transition year and some revenues have not been paid. However, he insisted that the 2012, 2013 and 2014 objectives will be met. The Spanish Government warned that not meeting the deficit objective for 2011 is not an option. Mas-Colell also explained he has not included, not even as a pending revenue, the 1.45 billion euros for the Competitiveness Fund.

The Spanish Government concludes that there will be no money from the Competitiveness Fund in 2011

April 28, 2011 07:06 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Elena Salgado, the Spanish Vice President for Finance, wanted to end the debate and discarded transferring the 1.45 billion euros from the fund in 2011. This is the amount asked for by the Catalan Government. The Catalan Minister for Finance has been asking for “co-responsibility”. The same day, the Spanish Senate approved a motion asking the Spanish Government to pay this fund this year as it is its legal obligation. The Catalan Government prefers political dialogue than taking the issue to the courts, as suggested by the Catalan Socialist Party.

The Catalan Government practically eliminates the Inheritance Tax for close relatives, which means 102 million euros less in 2012

April 6, 2011 02:31 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In the last elections, the elimination of the tax was one of the main promises of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition, Convergència i Unió (CiU), which controls the Catalan Government. From January 1st 2011, first and second degree relatives will have a 99% bonus on this tax. The decision has been taken in the middle of the debate about public expenditure cuts.

The Catalan Government says “enough is enough” to further public expenditure cuts, but Madrid keeps putting on the pressure

April 1, 2011 01:45 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

On the same day that Catalan hospitals presented their plans to reduce their budget by 10% and cut several services, the Catalan Government’s Spokesperson sent a strong message to Madrid saying that "enough was enough." The Spanish Government answered the calls by the Catalan Executive by saying that if it does not meet the 1.3% deficit objective for 2011, it will run out of cash. Madrid is asking for greater budget cuts. Almost all Catalan political parties, including the People’s Party, back up the Catalan Government, the main exception being the Socialist Party, which supports Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Who pays for the public deficit? Autonomous Communities vs. the Spanish Government

March 31, 2011 01:35 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Government demands an additional budget reduction of 3.2 billion euros to Catalonia, while the Catalan Government claims 3.3 billion owed by the Spanish State. Catalan parties have accused Prime Minister Zapatero of reducing his government’s deficit by increasing that of the autonomous communities. The Spanish Government wants to force Autonomous Communities to pay for the deficit by limiting it through specific laws.