budget reduction

The worst September in 15 years, 16,282 more people registered as unemployed in Catalonia

October 5, 2011 12:03 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

September has been a bad month for employment over the last number of years, but this past September is the worst in the last 11 years. The Spanish Government has blamed the budget cuts undergone by the Autonomous Communities for the unemployment increase. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government considers Madrid’s statements as “offensive” and “pitiful”, and he stressed that the Spanish Government had asked them to double their public spending cuts. He also added that the Spanish Government has not paid the money that it owes.

Budget reduction puts Catalan healthcare in the spotlight

October 4, 2011 03:23 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government is obliged to reduce the public deficit and the public healthcare system is also subsequently affected by the budget cuts. Doctor and nursing unions are mobilised, while salary reduction and temporary lay offs are being discussed. Waiting lists have increased due to some hospital services being partially and temporarily closed, especially during the summer months. Many citizens have been protesting, in different demonstrations. The Catalan Health Ministry announced new maximum waiting times for severe interventions. In addition, some hospitals are reopening some operating rooms.

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.

Catalonia reduces the less used primary health services to save money, generating citizen protests

September 2, 2011 01:55 AM | CNA

The Catalan Government is reducing public deficit and cutting public spending by 10% this year. All areas are affected, including healthcare, which is one of the departments with a smaller percentage budget reduction. Last August, 25 community health centres (CAP) reduced their opening hours, closing their emergency room during nights and weekends as they were scarcely used; as of this September, another 21 centres in a similar situation have been added to the list. Citizens have been camping in some CAPs to protest about the decision.

The Catalan Government rejects PM Zapatero’s proposal to impose an expenditure limit for the Autonomous Communities

June 28, 2011 11:15 PM | CNA / Patricia Mateos

PM Zapatero today proposed an expenditure limit for the Autonomous Communities before the Spanish Parliament . The Spokesperson for the Catalan Executive considers it an attack to self-governance and fiscal autonomy. In addition, he stressed that the Catalan Government is the only administration in Spain, at all levels, that has cut its expenditure by 10% in one year. He also asked the Spanish Government to make its own adjustments and pay what it legally owes to the Communities, and to Catalonia in particular.

The IMF considers that Spain’s greatest financial risk is certain Autonomous Communities not meeting the deficit objective

June 22, 2011 01:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The International Monetary Fund wants the Spanish Government to “strengthen” the labour market reform, not give up on spending cuts and restructure the financial system. The same day, the Bank of Spain's Governor, Miguel Angel Fernández Ordóñez asked the Spanish Minister for Economy to be “stricter” on the Autonomous Community government’s deficit reduction. The Catalan Minister for Finance said on several occasions that Catalonia would meet the deficit objective for 2011 if the Spanish Government showed some institutional loyalty and paid the money it legally owes to Catalonia.

University fees to be raised 7.6% next September in Catalonia

June 22, 2011 12:57 AM | CNA / María Belmez

Public university undergraduate students will have to pay between 64 and 100 euros more per year. Those repeating once will pay the same amount, but those taking a course for the third time will pay 60% more. The measure would bring in 20 million euros in one year. 25% of the revenues from the fee increase will be reinvested via scholarships, the first that will be aimed at university students managed by the Catalan Government.

The People’s Party eases the way in parliament for the Catalan budget

June 16, 2011 01:35 PM | CNA / Patricia Mateos / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan People’s Party (PPC) abstained and facilitated the rejection of the motions to substitute the budget bill presented by the Catalan Government, run by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition CiU. The motions had been presented by four parliamentary groups for a range of reasons, but mainly because the Government’s budget proposal was cutting too much social spending while it did not make enough efforts to raise revenues.

Square protesters try to besiege the Catalan Parliament

June 15, 2011 11:55 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Parliament was under siege by the “indignats” protesters, who have been camping on Catalunya Square for the last month. They tried to impede MPs' access to the park where the Parliament is located. Some MPs arrived on foot and were insulted, pushed or sprayed. Others, including the Catalan President and the Parliament’s President, had to arrive via helicopter or inside police vans. The ‘indignats’ movement condemned “the isolated violent episodes”, but said they have the right to block the Parliament. Today the first voting on the budget was held, which reduces public spending by 10%. Despite the protests, the parliamentary debate took place.

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.

The Catalan Government feels “greatly backed” and will approve its budget for 2011 on May 31st

May 25, 2011 12:32 AM | CNA / Patricia Mateos / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The good results at the municipal elections give the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU), running the Government, the support of citizens to carry on with the austerity measures and its plan to reduce public expenditure by 10%. After the Government’s approval, the budget will be discussed at the Catalan Parliament and approved by the end of July. CiU does not want to mix budget negotiations at the Parliament with local agreements after the municipal elections.

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.