The demands of Catalonia, the Government's main challenge in future regional financing



Rajoy y Mas

The head of the Government, Mariano Rajoy (i), and the president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas. BALLESTEROS / EFE

The Government of Mariano Rajoy faces, as it happened to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the challenge of achieving a model of regional financing that will satisfy all the autonomous communities but without looking at Catalonia.

The Catalan statute conditioned the funding model that in 2009 promoted the socialist government and remains in force all this year, a system that the popular reject and have promised to change, although at the time, when it was approved, the PP communities abstained and they recognized that it brought them more resources.

On this occasion, the recent meeting between Rajoy and the president of the Generalitat , Artur Mas, raised suspicions about the possibility that the Executive would respond to the economic demands of the Generalitat – which wants a bilateral financing agreement – to stop the sovereignty consultation .


Last Wednesday, Rajoy called the unity of its regional leaders , promised to talk to everyone about the funding and assured them that he does not intend to talk to anyone -in this case with Mas- what is out of the law.

The PP seeks a unified position

From the Popular Party, his deputy secretary general of Autonomic and Local Policy, Javier Arenas, has assured that there is no intention to repeat the “bilateral” experience of the Zapatero Government with Catalonia that gave rise to the current financing model.

Arenas admits that the popular are “aware” that there is a “complex situation” in Catalonia that must be addressed and to which the Government is dedicating “many energies”.

But the “final balance” they want, he adds, is an agreement that includes all the autonomous communities within the framework of the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council (CPFF).

Sánchez-Camacho has aligned with the nationalists in the aspect of asking for special financing for Catalonia He has also assured that the PP will maintain a “single position” in the reform of the regional financing , and sees it compatible with the presidents of the communities who governs his party defend their specific interests.

There will be some threads that will mark us all, ” continues Arenas, for whom the model must respect the Constitution, allow the financing of basic public services and guarantee solidarity between territories.

The popular leader rejects so that there will be fundamental differences within his party in this negotiation that is expected to be arduous and on which many popular barons have begun to put conditions on the table.

For example, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho , president of the Catalan PP, which on Friday said she will defend “until the end” a unique financing model for Catalonia , within the common system of the CCAA, and did not rule out even breaking the discipline of voting your party if your proposal is not accepted.

Others, on the other hand, have already warned that they will fight for a common model, such as the president of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio González, who does not want “a la carte for some against others” models and will fight for there are no “grievances” such as those that, in his opinion, Catalonia wants to promote.

And in the middle of this debate that is still beginning, proposals arise as the one of the minister of Outer Subjects, Jose Manuel Garci’a Margallo, on the possibility of transferring to the communities the hundred percent of the IRPF.

The PSOE will not allow “discrimination” between communities

The Socialists say they are willing to sit down to negotiate the new financing system, aware that the communities are struggling economically that the current model did not foresee , nor the loss of income that the crisis would entail.

Socialist sources have explained that they will formulate their proposals when the government agrees to speak in a “serious and rigorous” way and not by means of simple “probe balloons ” such as those that, according to the PSOE, are launching until now.

The Andalusian PSOE warns that it will not allow the money of its citizens to be used to “silence the pro-independence demands”. Its bases will be solidarity between territories, collaboration and sufficient funding for public services, taking into account that 75% One hundred percent of the spending of the autonomies is dedicated to health and education. What they will not allow is that there be a discriminatory treatment of some autonomies with respect to others.

A thesis defended this week by the leader of the PSOE, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba: ” There must be a treatment under conditions of equality , based on the principle that communities have significant financial difficulties.”

An equality that will have to be seen if it is also defended within the PSOE itself , where territorial differences can also arise.

The parliamentary spokesman of the Andalusian PSOE, Francisco Álvarez de la Chica, already warned, after hearing the meeting between Mas and Rajoy, that his party is going to oppose “radically” to that “a penny of the Andalusians” is destined to “silence the independent claims “ of Catalonia.

The deficit and the case of Catalonia, outstanding issues

In what coincide the PSOE, the PP and most of the parties is that the model that ends up being launched is not discriminatory and guarantees solidarity.

CiU will not yield until it reaches a “bilateral relationship” with the State, according to its Economy spokesperson, Josep Sánchez Llibre. Yes, CiU warns, in the middle of this debate that opened the Rajoy-Mas meeting, that ” Catalonia is committed to a model that contemplate a bilateral relationship with the State “and that allows the creation of a tax agency of its own.

These are the words of CiU’s economic spokesman in the Congress, Josep Sánchez Llibre, who in any case emphasizes that this training is intended to intensify dialogue with the central government as much as possible.

While waiting for the negotiation to start, in Izquierda Unida there is skepticism about the position of the Government, because they understand that both in this issue and in others, the Executive seeks to advance in the “recentralization” of the State and reduce the communities to mere delegations. of the central power, according to the sources of the training.

In the same way, IU believes that the Government wants to “criminalize” the autonomies in this environment of economic crisis .

That is why he demands that, in the same way that he asks the EU to relax the deficit target for Spain, transfer this flexibility to the communities , and negotiate individual deficit targets, something that the Government is already studying.

Totally against agreeing a deficit “on demand” is the “number two” of UPyD , Carlos Martínez Gorriarán, because he considers it a tool of “political pressure” that starts in Catalonia.

The German model, by which the richest länder contribute more so that the rest have enough income, like UPyD On the financing model, Gorriarán explains that UPyD is seeing “with enough affection” the German model , according to which the Länder richer contribute more to the system so that others have a sufficient level of income.

Insists, in any case, that the autonomic powers should be set with “precision” and is in favor of the communities manage their own taxes, provided that it is done with “rigor”.

For Ana Oramas, of the Canarian Coalition, if the melon of the regional financing is opened, it must be to solve the issue of the competences of the autonomous communities. He also hopes that the new model will end the “great distortions” of the current one, which have had a “terrible” effect on his community.

Oramas warns that Margallo’s proposal to cede 100% of the IRPF would mean that the poorest regions would remain so and a “solidarity coefficient” would be necessary.