budget reduction

The Catalan Government will bring Rajoy’s health decree to the Constitutional Court

June 6, 2012 12:14 AM | CNA

Following the advice of the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees (CGE), the Catalan Executive will appeal the Spanish Government’s decree to save €7 billion in healthcare this year. However, it will continue implementing the decree until a judicial decision is made. According to the CGE, the decree violates 3 Spanish Constitution articles and 3 others from the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The decree does not guarantee equality among all citizens, since it limits access to public healthcare. In addition, it invades the Catalan Government’s powers. Left-wing Catalan parties were the first to ask for CGE’s opinion, since they consider the new decree violates basic social rights.

The Catalan Government had a 6.23% budget surplus in the first four months of the year

May 30, 2012 12:54 AM | CNA / Josep Molina

The Catalan Government’s finances corresponding to the first four months of 2012 showed a €535 million budget surplus. Spending has been reduced by €240 million in comparison to the same period last year, when the Catalan Government’s budget had a deficit of €1.13 billion. The budget surplus is mostly due to the transfers made by the Spanish Government, which partially correspond to payments from 2010.

Green light for the Catalan Government’s plan of adjusting €4.3 billion to meet this year’s deficit target

May 18, 2012 12:55 AM | CNA

The Catalan Government will adjust its budget by €4.295 billion in 2012, through spend cuts of €2.680 billion and increasing revenue by €1.615 billion. With this plan, the Catalan Government will meet the 1.5% deficit target. The Council of Fiscal and Financial Policy (CPFF), which brings together the Spanish Government and the 17 Autonomies, has approved Catalonia’s budget adjustment plan for 2012-2014. The Spanish Government would pay part of the money owed, but not all of it. The Catalan Government has included a plan B in case the Spanish Government does not honour its fiscal obligations towards Catalonia.

The Catalan Government presents its third austerity plan based on further budget cuts “obliged” by Madrid and Brussels

May 16, 2012 12:59 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The third plan represents an additional budget cut of €1.5 billion, in order to meet the 1.5% deficit target for this year. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, said that the plan “guarantees essential services”. He also stated that if the Spanish Government had paid what it owed last year, the current reduction would be halved. The plan decreases budget allocations for public companies, reduces public employee salaries once again, decreases the amount allocated for subsidies, delays investments, privatises some public companies, sells public buildings, and implements the measures decided by the Spanish Government regarding health and education. The opposition criticised the plan for not being concrete and effective enough.

Immigrants lacking legal residence will have their access to the Catalan public healthcare guaranteed

May 10, 2012 01:29 AM | CNA

The Catalan Government has rejected the Spanish Executive’s initiative to limit public healthcare to foreign nationals without a legalised residence status. The Spanish Government proposed that irregular immigrants would only have access to emergency rooms and obstetrics services, but not to regular treatments and consultations. The Catalan Health Minister, Boi Ruiz, confirmed on Friday that in Catalonia, all foreign residents, independent of their legal status, would have free access to the public health system for “solidarity” principles but also “for public health reasons”. Besides the ethical issue, experts had warned about infectious diseases that could have increased because of having groups of people excluded from the health system.

Catalonia questions the constitutionality of the Spanish Government’s education and healthcare reforms

May 9, 2012 12:47 AM | CNA / Patricia Mateos / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government has announced a plan against the Spanish Government’s “recentralisation offensive”. One of its actions is taking the education and healthcare reforms adopted by Madrid to the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees, as a first step to bring them to Spain’s Constitutional Court. The Catalan Government believes that some of the measures invade its jurisdiction, as it directly manages education and healthcare. Another measure is issuing a report pointing out the Spanish Government’s duplicities, such as maintaining ministries such as education, healthcare and culture. These policies are managed by the Autonomies. Left-Wing opposition parties have urged the Catalan Government to take further measures, while the PP has accused the Catalan Executive of “lying”.

The Catalan President advised Mario Draghi against worsening the crisis by reducing the deficit too fast

May 3, 2012 01:51 AM | CNA / Patricia Mateos

Coinciding with the European Central Bank Governing Council organised in Barcelona, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, met with Mario Draghi and other members of the ECB Governing Council. Mas took the opportunity to explain to the ECB the Catalan Government’s austerity measures and its efforts to reduce Catalonia’s public deficit. He also spoke of his party’s support to all the reforms taken at Spanish level, despite being unpopular. However, Mas warned the ECB President that reducing the deficit too fast in the middle of an economic recession might worsen the crisis.

“No government has done as much as Catalonia's to adjust the economic situation” affirms the Catalan President

April 26, 2012 10:03 PM | CNA

The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad has published an interview with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. Mas states that “Catalonia’s intervention by Spain would be unthinkable” and “unfair, as no government has done as much as Catalonia's to adjust the economic situation”. Furthermore, he adds that “people’s reaction [against such an intervention] would be very strong”. NRC explains the austerity measures implemented by the Catalan Government to reduce its deficit, such as the drug prescription fee or public employee salary reduction. Furthermore, Mas complained that Spain’s Autonomies model has “decentralised spending but not revenue”; “we want to collect our taxes”, he affirmed, being another “state within a federal Europe”, contributing to regional solidarity.

The Catalan President threatens early elections if the Spanish Government intervened in Catalonia

April 24, 2012 01:08 AM | CNA

In an interview with the Catalan Public Television Broadcaster, the Catalan President and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) recognised that the Spanish Government could intervene the Catalan Government. “It could happen, I won't deny it”, he said. Furthermore, he warned that “the mistrust level will be very high” if the Spanish Government does not pay the money it owes the Catalan Executive. Mas said that “if Madrid wants to intervene Catalonia’s self-government”, he would call early elections. In addition, he said that further budget cuts will be needed.

The Catalan Government keeps the drug prescription fee despite Madrid’s additional measures

April 19, 2012 09:56 PM | CNA / Patricia Mateos

The day after the Spanish Government imposed increasing the price citizens pay for medication, the Spokesperson for the Catalan Government confirmed that Catalonia will maintain the €1 drug prescription fee. The Catalan Health Minister had said earlier they would study if the drug prescription fee would be implemented. The main doctors union and Left-Wing opposition parties asked the Catalan Government to eliminate the drug prescription fee, because it would make Catalan citizens pay more for their medication than the rest of Spanish citizens.

The Catalan Health Minister considers the Spanish Government’s measures to cut spending “to be insufficient”

April 19, 2012 12:28 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Minister of Health met with her counterparts from the Autonomous Communities to discuss measures to reduce healthcare spending by €7 billion. Pensioners will have to pay for 10% of their medication, with a maximum of between €8 and €18 per month depending on their income. Furthermore, people with a job will have to pay for 40% to 60% of the price, depending on their income. Besides, the number of pills will better adapt to prescriptions, drug purchases will be centralised and generic drug prescriptions will be fostered. Catalonia might not eliminate the drug prescription fee although the final decision will be taken once the impact of measures is fully studied. The Catalan Minister also emphasised that the main problem in Catalonia is “the system’s funding” and not expenditure, which cannot be further reduced.

The Spanish Government imposes a €3 billion budget cut in education

April 17, 2012 01:59 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Minister for Education met with his counterparts from the Autonomous Communities and imposed 6 measures that must be adopted to save €3 billion. The Catalan Minister considers that three of the measures might invade powers managed by the Autonomies, and therefore the Spanish Government might be ruling beyond its jurisdiction. The Catalan Government will study them and does not rule out bringing the Spanish Government to the Constitutional Court. Nonetheless, the Spanish Minister reminded that, before a judge says the contrary, the measures are still obligatory. Besides, the Catalan Minister also emphasised the previous austerity efforts made by the Catalan Government also in Education, and the Spanish Ministry’s “lack of knowledge” about them.

The Spanish Budget for 2012 violates approved laws regarding investment in Catalonia

April 3, 2012 10:08 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Government will not respect the territorial funding scheme, approved by the Spanish Parliament and in a referendum, as it will only invest 11% of its regional spending in Catalonia. According to the current legislation, in order to compensate for an historical lack of infrastructural investment in Catalonia recognised by the Spanish Parliament and the Constitutional Court, the Spanish Government must invest at least the equivalent of Catalonia’s economic weight within Spain, which represents 18.7% in 2012. Furthermore it does not include €1 billion pending from 2008 and 2009, to which Catalonia is legally entitled.

The Spanish Government refuses Catalonia’s petition to internally split the deficit target more proportionally

March 6, 2012 10:48 PM | CNA

“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.