Rajoy's promises to Catalonia absent from budget

April 4, 2017 05:49 PM | ACN

Spain’s budget for 2017 allocates €1.14 billion to invest in Catalonia, €30 million less than last year. However, as a percentage, the figure represents 13.4% of the total, which is higher than in 2016, which saw only 10.7% investment for Catalonia. The allocation is still below Catalonia’s contribution to Spain's GDP, which is 19%. Although most of the investment is oriented toward infrastructures, the figures are a far cry from the major investment that Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, announced last week for Catalonia. Indeed, he said that €4.2 billion will arrive in Catalonia by 2020. Spain's Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, admitted that the budget doesn’t include the promised measures and assured that the investment “will move forward in 2018”.

Catalan Government: It’s not just about economics

March 28, 2017 06:00 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, has commented on the promise by Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy to invest €4.2 billion in infrastructures in Catalonia. She expressed the Government’s “immense skepticism” regarding Rajoy’s promises and advised him to add a “clause to avoid its breach”, bearing in mind previous experiences. “If there is anybody who believes that what happens in Catalonia is only an economic problem, then he is really confused,” she added. Moreover, Munté considered Rajoy’s announcement a strategy “to hide the fact that the so-called ‘operation dialogue’ never existed at all”.

Rajoy promises investing on infrastructures to weaken independence aspirations

March 28, 2017 02:14 PM | ACN

Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, announced that his Government plans to invest €4.2 billion by 2020 to improve Catalonia’s infrastructures. The most important part would go to the short-distance train network, operated by Spanish Public Train operator, RENFE. Indeed, this piece of infrastructure has been one of the historic demands of Catalan citizens, after years of underinvestment and continuous incidents. According to Rajoy, €1.9 billion would be invested during this term of office and €2 billion more by 2025. In a speech he gave within the seminar ‘Connected to the future’, held this Tuesday in Barcelona, Rajoy expressed his “personal commitment” to turn the short-distance train network into a “realistic, viable and verifiable” piece of infrastructure. Earlier this week, the Catalan Government already expressed that they had “few expectations” regarding Rajoy’s promises and pointed out that previous investment plans haven’t been fulfilled for decades.

The Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a key, long-awaited infrastructure

March 27, 2017 06:00 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The so-called Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a long-awaited piece of infrastructure which is set to transport freight and passengers non-stop from Gibraltar to Central Europe along the Mediterranean coastline, is one of the most representative examples of Spain’s lack of investment in Catalonia. Despite being essential not only for the Spanish economy but for the entire European economy as well, its construction has been repeatedly delayed. Even the European Commission has called for “cooperation between administrations” to implement the Corridor, which is regarded as a key infrastructure for Europe. Moreover, the delays in the construction of the Corridor are affecting private investment, the Catalan Government has warned. According to Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, the pending business investments are worth €300 million, of which €20 million corresponds to an investment from the German multinational Basf, which announced it will expand one of its plants in Tarragona.

Spain's investment in Catalan transport infrastructure falls to lowest level in 20 years

November 3, 2016 07:10 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce reported this Thursday that 2015 was the worst year in the historical data series, which dates back to 1997, in the rate of state investment in the transport infrastructure in Catalonia. Specifically, the Spanish Government executed only 59% of the budgeted investment in Catalonia, below the average of all the Spanish Autonomous Communities, which stood at 72%. The president of the Chamber, Miquel Valls, lamented in a press conference that the low degree of implementation of investment occurs on an initial budget which is already relatively small for Catalonia. Last year, the Spanish executive budgeted for the region 9.9% of total state investment in transport infrastructure, despite the Catalan GDP accounting for 18.9% of the state’s overall GDP.

Government takes to court Spanish public company in charge of railway infrastructure

October 28, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, explained this Friday that the Government has presented an appeal before Spain’s High Court, the ‘Audiencia Nacional’, denouncing Adif’s lack of investment in the short and medium railway network in Catalonia. Rull accuses the Spanish public body in charge of railway infrastructure and the Spanish Ministry for Infrastructure of not complying with the agreed investment. “We open the judicial way because the political one between both governments has proved to be broken”, he stated. Rull pointed out that Adif committed to investing 306 million euros in Catalonia’s railway network and only so far only 4.2% of this has been carried out. “Therefore, there is a flagrant failure to fulfil”, he insisted. Current Spanish Vice-president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, responded to the Government’s action and stated that “this proves that those who think they are right turn to the legal mechanisms available”.