francesc homs

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 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 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 Spanish Government sets new deficit targets without agreement from neither the EU nor the Autonomous Communities

March 2, 2012 10:38 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government considers the Spanish Government to be “disloyal” for unilaterally setting the new deficit objectives and for not allowing the same degree of flexibility to the autonomous communities, who manage all basic services. The Autonomies’ new deficit target has been set at 1.5% while that of the Spanish Government is set at 4%. Mariano Rajoy has announced that Spain will have a total public deficit of 5.8% of its GDP, and not the 4.4% previously agreed with the rest of the European Union Member States. Rajoy has argued that, with a recession coming, the situation has changed and the stability pact foresees changing the targets.

CiU and the PP reach a final agreement to approve the Catalan Budget

February 14, 2012 11:49 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which controls the Catalan Government, and the People’s Party (PP), the third political party in Catalonia’s Parliament, have agreed to reduce some of the fees from the original proposal, reduce the number of public companies, build new schools and community health centres, and allocate more money to municipalities and victims of terrorism. Furthermore, the agreement goes beyond the budget and foresees the development of laws and plans to foster employment, entrepreneurship and a spending limitation. CiU has denied that it has a “stable agreement” with the PP for the entire term. The PP has demonstrated its new central role in Catalan politics. Every opposition party has criticised the agreement.

Catalonia rejects the Spanish Government’s proposal to approve the Autonomies’ budget in advance

January 5, 2012 10:02 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government has said that the new Spanish Economy Minister’s proposal goes against the Constitution and Catalonia’s self-governance. The Basque Country is also against the measure announced by Luís de Guindos in an interview with the Financial Times. He said that the crisis “was an opportunity to impose hard conditions and measures” on the Autonomies; he also added that before the Autonomies pass their budget, the Spanish Government will have to approve it. The next day, the Spanish Vice President refused to go into detail on the issue but stated that every administration has to commit to the deficit objective.

The Catalan Government decides to take the Spanish Executive to court for not paying €759 million

December 14, 2011 11:54 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The outgoing Spanish Government has refused to pay Catalonia €759 million this year despite being legally obliged to do so and having stated publicly on several occasions it would pay the money. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government announced Catalonia is risking to miss the deficit objective for 2011 without the funds. Facing this situation and the damage caused by it, the Catalan Government has decided to take the Spanish State to court and explain the issue to European institutions. Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s future Prime Minister, has said that he is not aware of the issue.

The Catalan and Spanish Governments dig their heels in regarding Catalonia’s “fiscal agreement”

November 28, 2011 11:51 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Both governments are currently defining their strategies and building their respective cases in preparation for a discussion on the issue in the coming months. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, has sent a clear message to the next Spanish Prime Minister: Catalonia will only accept a negotiation on a new fiscal model, which would reduce the financial transfers to Spain’s poorer regions. If the Spanish Government refuses to discuss about it, Catalonia will organise a citizen vote on it. Over the past few days, the People’s Party has hinted that the Catalan Government’s main claim is not a matter for discussion.

The Catalan public television and radio broadcaster will have its budget drastically cut

November 25, 2011 09:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In a meeting at the Parliament of Catalonia, the Catalan Government has announced that it will reduce its budget contribution to the Catalan public television and radio broadcaster (CCRTV) by 13.3%. As a consequence, the entire CCRTV budget will drop and two of the six digital TV channels will be closed. However, the Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, in charge of public media, said no staff would be laid off.

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.

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 “wins an arm-wrestle” within “the Spanish Government’s offensive”

May 18, 2011 02:16 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government will be able to keep the number of new teacher positions this year, after the Spanish Government withdrew its complaint. However, the Spokesperson for the Catalan Government insisted that the Spanish Executive continues with “its offensive against Catalonia”, as among other issues it still refuses to pay 1.45 billion euros from the Competitiveness Fund. In addition, only 0.8% of the Spanish Government’s approved public works in 2011 are in Catalonia.

The Catalan and Spanish Governments disagree again over the 1.45 billion euros in the Competitiveness Fund

April 27, 2011 12:43 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government received 3.2 billion euros last week from retail bonds, 0.5 billion euros more than the initial quantity released on the market. In addition, it will have to issue more debt and it needs the agreed money transfers from the Spanish Government. However, the Spanish Deputy Minister for Finance has rejected the request from the Catalan Government of 1.45 billion euros from the Competitiveness Fund and has warned Catalonia not to include that amount in this year’s budget. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government accuses the Spanish Government of “acting as a defaulter”.

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.