deficit limit

Catalonia predicts 2.2% deficit for 2014, while Spanish Government imposed a 1% target

January 22, 2015 12:20 AM | ACN

The Catalan Government is expecting to post a 2.2% deficit for the whole of 2014, corresponding to some €4.41 billion. However, the definitive figure will not be known until March. This is more than  double the 1% deficit target that the Spanish Government unilaterally imposed on the Catalan Executive. Over the last few years, the two governments have quarrelled about deficit targets, since the Spanish Executive is imposing much stricter objectives on the Autonomous Communities than those it allows itself, despite regional governments exclusively managing and funding the basic Welfare State services such as healthcare and education. For instance, for 2014, the Spanish Government only allowed the Autonomous Communities to only have 15% of the whole deficit allowed by the European Union to Spain’s entire public sector, despite managing some 35% of the country’s public funds and basic services.

Demonstration in Barcelona against austerity and “antisocial” policies

November 25, 2013 05:37 PM | ACN

Thousands of people – 12,000 according to Barcelona’s local police and 200,000 according to the organisers – demonstrated on Sunday in the streets of Barcelona to protest against the Spanish and Catalan Governments’ austerity measures and “antisocial” budgets. Led by the platform ‘Prou Retallades’ (“Stop Budget Cuts”) , the UGT and CCOO trade-unions, as well as political parties and associations, citizens voiced their disapproval of the new pension reform, working fragility and the latest austerity measures. They also specifically protested against the Catalan and Spanish Governments’ budgets for 2014, which they consider “antisocial”. The demonstration organisers criticised the “blind obedience” of the Catalan and Spanish Executives to the European Commission and the Troika.

Spain’s Prime Minister Rajoy rejects a constitutional change to fit Catalonia better within Spain

November 5, 2013 10:28 PM | ACN

The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, considered that “to reform the Constitution in order to satisfy those who will not be satisfied”, referring to the citizens supporting Catalonia’s independence from Spain, who represent more than 50% of Catalans according to polls, would be “a great mistake”. Answering a question from the former Catalan President José Montilla, Rajoy stated before the Senate that “Spain and national sovereignty are not negotiable”. However, despite these red lines, Rajoy affirmed that his attitude towards Catalonia is “to talk” in order to find a negotiated way out. More than 80% of Catalans would like to hold a self-determination vote in Catalonia.

Catalonia registered a 1.06% deficit by the end of August, in line with the 1.58% target for the entire year

October 29, 2013 09:24 PM | ACN

During the first two thirds of 2013, the Catalan Government deficit amounted to €2.05 billion, equivalent to 1.06% of Catalonia’s GDP. The figure corresponds to 67% of the 1.58% deficit target imposed by the Spanish Government to the Catalan Executive for the whole year 2013. Meanwhile, the entire Spanish public sector posted a deficit corresponding to 5.07% of Spain’s GDP in the same period, although data from municipalities is still pending to be included. The figure already represents 78% of the total 6.5% deficit target that the European Union allowed Spain for the entire year 2013.

The Spanish Government imposes an €8 billion budget adjustment on the Autonomous Communities in 2014 and 2015

October 17, 2013 09:00 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government has sent a Budget Plan to the European Commission, following the new rules giving Brussels greater control on Member State finances. The plan’s scope includes all government levels in Spain. In the plan, the Spanish Government imposes a global budget adjustment of €8 billion on the Autonomous Community governments, including Catalonia’s, to be achieved within the next two years. €2.14 billion would come from increasing revenue next year, since Madrid considers that the Autonomous Communities can still increase their own taxes, particularly those linked to the environment. €1.93 billion would come from further budget cuts. This would total €4.07 billion in 2014, which would roughly be repeated in 2015.

The Catalan Finance Minister points towards extending the 2012 budget for the whole of 2013

August 1, 2013 09:23 PM | ACN

“2013 is done. We now need to think about 2014”, summed up the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, after finding out about the 1.58% deficit target imposed yesterday by the Spanish Executive. Mas-Colell considers this target to be “intolerable” since it “asphyxiates” Catalonia. The Catalan Executive was waiting to find out this figure to approve its definitive budget for the current year, but considering the low deficit target it is now considering extending the 2012 budget for the whole of 2013 – as it has been doing so up until now. The Catalan Government will make the final decision on the issue next Tuesday. Furthermore, Mas-Colell warned that a €1.7 billion budget adjustment will be needed in 2014 that will be required to increase one-off revenue since the Catalan Government “cannot spend less than in 2013”.

The Spanish and Catalan Governments hold several high-level bilateral meetings in Barcelona on the same day

May 11, 2013 12:08 AM | CNA

On the occasion of the kick-off of the 2013 Barcelona International Motor Show, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and 3 ministers (Finance, Economy and Industry) visited Barcelona on Friday. They held several meetings with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell. Mas and Rajoy talked for 20 minutes about Catalonia’s deficit target for 2013 and the budget for this year. Officially, they have not discussed the self-determination process. In addition, Mas also met with Luís De Guindos, Spain’s Minister for the Economy. Mas-Colell met with De Guindos and Cristóbal Montoro, the Spanish Finance Minister.

The Catalan Government posts a 2% deficit for 2012, correcting the previous preliminary figure

February 21, 2013 10:36 PM | CNA

A month ago, the Catalan Government issued a preliminary deficit figure for last year of 2.3%. Now, the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, has corrected this and issued “a more precise figure, although not definitive yet”, which represents having undertaken an adjustment of €3.3 billion in a single year. The Catalan Government was supposed to meet a deficit target of 1.5% in 2012, a figure imposed by the Spanish Executive and considered too strict by Mas-Colell, since it is not proportional to the Catalan Executive’s share of public spending. For 2013, the Spanish Government is imposing an even stricter 0.7% deficit target. Mas-Colell has been repeating that it is “irrational” and needs to be changed.

The Catalan Government had a 0.59% deficit in the first half of the year, below the Autonomous Communities’ 0.77% average

September 14, 2012 03:20 PM | CNA

By the end of the year, Catalonia must meet a 1.5% deficit target. According to the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, the Autonomous Community governments are heading “in the right direction” to honour the deficit objective for 2012. The Catalan Government had a 0.38% deficit at the end of July, according to its own sources. This represents a €767 million deficit, while at the end of July 2011 it had a 2.09 billion deficit, which represents a 63% deficit reduction.

Merkel praises “the close cooperation” between the Spanish Government and the Autonomous Communities

September 7, 2012 12:08 AM | CNA

The German Chancellor is “impressed” with Spain’s reforms. According to Angela Merkel, the reforms are headed “in the right direction”, they need to be pursued “at all government levels” and they will need “time to show their results”, “as it happened in Germany ten years ago” with their structural reforms. Angela Merkel met with the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid, the day the European Central Bank announced it was buying sovereign bonds. Merkel stated that reforms have to continue “at all government levels”. The Chancellor also defended the European Union as a project guaranteeing peace and prosperity, and the Euro as “our common currency”.

The Catalan Government will have its deficit limited to 0.14% by 2018

May 11, 2012 12:20 AM | CNA / Aleix Moldes

The Catalan Parliament has approved Catalonia’s Law of Budget Stability, which is more restrictive than its Spanish equivalent. The Catalan law reduces the adaptation time set in Spanish law by 2 years. Furthermore, it sets a 0% deficit for 2020. The law has been approved with the votes of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government, and the Conservative People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Executive. Left-Wing parties have voted against the measure; according to them it follows the “0% deficit dogma” and forgets about “necessary” social spending.

The Spanish Government doesn’t transfer the money, but transfers the blame

April 25, 2012 12:36 AM | CNA

The Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, blamed the Autonomies and town halls for Spain’s public deficit. Montoro stated that the Spanish Government is meeting the deficit objective for 2012 with the results from the first quarter. However, Catalan MPs reminded Montoro that he is refusing to pay the money it owes Catalan institutions and that with this strategy he transfers the blame for the deficit by not transferring the funds. The Catalan Government directly accused the Spanish Executive for their “massive lie”. According to internal studies from the Catalan Government, the Spanish Executive made incorrect calculations by saying the Autonomies could save €10 billion in healthcare and education with last week’s measures.

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.