The Catalan Government provides explanations to the Parliament regarding social care organisations’ payments

August 4, 2012 12:13 AM | CNA

The Catalan Social Affairs Minister, Josep Lluís Cleries, stated before the Catalan Parliament that €70 million had not been paid on time to health and social care organisations this August. He said he was sorry for the situation but underlined that the €50 million destined for private citizens had been paid. The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, emphasised that, if the Spanish Government does not activate the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomous Communities and similar measures, he cannot guarantee the situation will not be repeated in the future. However, he said to be confident the Spanish Government will put these mechanisms in place soon. The Left-Wing opposition parties had requested the urgent hearings.

The Catalan Government cannot pay funds for health and social care organisations in time for August

August 1, 2012 10:44 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia’s Executive blames the Spanish Government for not having transferred all this month’s economic resources and creating serious financial problems for the Autonomies, compelled to pay other financial obligations first. Social care organisations state that the service is guaranteed but that some employees might not receive their salary in time. In addition, despite that they are looking for solutions with the Catalan Government, they criticise the bad planning and are having to look for last minute solutions. Catalonia’s opposition parties have forced the Catalan Finance and Social Affairs Ministers to explain the situation to the Catalan Parliament.

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.

Catalan parties meet to discuss a new fiscal agreement with Spain

May 31, 2012 01:59 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government has organised a summit with all the parties at the Catalan Parliament to discuss a new fiscal scheme for Catalonia. According to official studies, Catalonia gives 8.5% of its GDP each year to pay for investments and services in the rest of Spain, an amount that represents more than €17 billion per year. Some parties state that the current model is unsustainable for Catalonia and represents a plundering of its finances. Others have a more moderate opinion. Nonetheless, all political parties in Catalonia now believe that this amount is excessive and that the fiscal scheme between Catalonia and the rest of Spain should be reviewed. However, they significantly disagree on the formula and the timing.

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.

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 Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees states that the Spanish Labour Reform is unconstitutional

April 5, 2012 11:45 PM | CNA

This advisory body dependent on the Catalan Government affirms that two aspects of the Labour Reform Law, recently approved by the Spanish Government, go against the Spanish Constitution. Furthermore, the report also highlights three elements that invade the Catalan Government’s jurisdiction. The four Left-Wing Catalan parties that requested the assessment one month ago are pushing for the reform to be brought to the Constitutional Court. CiU, who runs the Catalan Government, hopes to modify these aspects through parliamentary negotiations.

All parties in Catalonia, except the PP, are against the Spanish Government’s Budget for 2012

April 5, 2012 12:19 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

CiU stated that it will be “absurd” that they support the current budget proposal in the Spanish Parliament although they are open to negotiate and modify it. Furthermore, CiU “does not rule out the possibility of taking the Spanish Government to court” for ignoring the current legislation. The Socialists directly considered the budget proposal “to mistreat Catalonia”. The Green Socialists ask for a “common Catalan front” against the budget. The Catalan Independence parties (ERC and SI) say the budget plunders Catalonia. The anti-Catalan nationalists stated the budget wants to please Merkel. The only party supporting the budget was the PP, which runs the Spanish Government.

Catalan President announces a 5% cut in public salaries to meet 2012 deficit targets

March 12, 2012 11:46 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government had already approved a 3% reduction of public salaries during the current year, which will now be increased to 5%. However, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, explained that the measure would be cancelled if the Spanish Government approved a similar reduction, in order not to harm public employees with two salary reductions. The People’s Party supports Mas but the Left-Wing opposition parties have criticised the measure and have said that there are other ways to reduce the deficit. Mas demanded that the Spanish Government include the funds it legally owes Catalonia in its budget for 2012 which would avoid further cutbacks.

The Catalan Parliament approves the 2012 budget with the abstention of the People’s Party

February 15, 2012 11:00 PM | CNA

As agreed, the PP abstained during the vote on the Catalan Government’s budget for 2012. The final text was approved with the 62 votes from CiU MPs, which controls the Catalan Government, the one vote from an independent MP, and the abstention of the PP. The rest of the parties have voted against it, in a tense plenary that has formalised the distance between the Government and the Left-Wing opposition parties. The details of some of the budget’s measures will have to be approved in one month, because three minority parties have asked for a “constitutionality” check.

The PP wins practically all over Spain with the exception of Catalonia and the Basque Country

November 21, 2011 02:47 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The conservative People’s Party (PP) has won the Spanish General Election with an absolute majority. The PP obtained 186 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, its best ever result. The Socialist Party (PSOE), who are the current Spanish Government, obtained the worst results in its history, winning just 110 MPs. In Catalonia, another historical change has taken place: the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU) have won in the Spanish elections for the first time. The Socialists lose 44% of their MPs in Catalonia, and their main candidate Carme Chacón, is in a bad position to lead the PSOE after Zapatero. The PP continues as Catalonia’s third party, despite an improvement in its results.

The People’s Party would win the Spanish General Elections with an absolute majority, according to the exit polls

November 20, 2011 09:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia is the only autonomous community where the Socialist Party has clearly won, but has lost around 35% of its MPs, according to the exit poll released by TV3. The People’s Party (PP) will remain Catalonia’s third biggest force, behind the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU), who will increase their share by some 40%. The exit polls released at 20.00 CET, when the polls closed, indicate an absolute majority for the PP and an historical defeat for the Socialists throughout Spain. The PP will get between 181 and 185 MPs, when the absolute majority is 176 seats. The election day has been calm, with a lower turnout than in the 2008 elections, particularly in Catalonia.

A calm electoral campaign ends with an absolute majority almost guaranteed for the PP

November 19, 2011 04:03 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia and the Basque Country might be the only Autonomous Communities in Spain without a victory for the People’s Party (PP). The Socialists are likely to win once again in Catalonia, but they risk loosing 40% of their seats. If they slump even further then they risk being overtaken by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) or even the PP. A quiet electoral campaign has come to an end, with three main unknown answers: if the Socialist party will get its worst results over the past few decades, if they will also lose in their stronghold of Catalonia, and how the international financial markets will react in the coming days.

The last polls before the Spanish elections confirm the People’s Party absolute majority

November 14, 2011 09:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In Catalonia, the PP would get its best results in history, and could become the second most voted party in the territory, a position disputed with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). The Socialist Party, which has won the Spanish elections in Catalonia for the last 32 years, might still win, but it will be a close battle with the CiU and the PP. A major surprise in Catalonia cannot be completely ruled out. In any case, on the contrary to previous elections and as it seemed some weeks ago, votes in Catalonia might not change the final results and the PP’s absolute majority would not depend on its Catalan supports.

The main Catalan candidates for the Spanish elections

November 8, 2011 02:08 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Next November 20th, Spaniards will vote for the new Spanish Parliament. They will elect one of the lists running in their province, which is their constituency. Catalans will thus elect the lists running in the four Catalan provinces. Therefore, they will not directly elect Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (PSOE) or Mariano Rajoy (PP), but their party candidates in Catalonia, as well as parties only running in Catalonia, such as the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) or the Catalan Green Socialist Coalition (ICV-EUiA).