- According to Eurostat Regional data, the Catalan economy has been blocked in recent years while Madrid, Navarra and the Basque Country have converged vigorously with the EU Regional GDP per capita average (in 2000 these three Spanish Autonomous Communities clearly surpassed Catalonia). It is suggested that the main reason for this stagnancy is the Catalan fiscal deficit with the Spanish state, estimated in recent years to be between 7% and 9% of Catalan GDP. Fiscal deficit does not exist in Navarra and the Basque Country (because of their particular financial system called concierto económico, that is equivalent and independent, self-sufficient administration) and it is significantly lower in Madrid, clearly the most dynamic Spanish region in recent years (only 1–2% of Madrid yearly GDP). Because of this continual extraction of Catalan resources and wealth, Catalonia is losing economic growth opportunities in the EU context, and according to the estimates derived in this study this stagnancy will continue in future years if the Catalan fiscal deficit with the Spanish state is not reversed. Catalonia will converge with the most dynamic EU regions only if there is a significant reduction of the Catalan fiscal deficit.
Catalonia pays taxes as a European country but receives public expenditure as a South American country. This is what Mr. Ramon Tremosa (a well-known Catalan economist) says in that article. Other economists have denounced the unfair economic situation of Catalonia (for example Mr. Xavier Sala i Martín)
But this alarming article is old-fashioned already. Recent non-official studies about the fiscal deficit of Catalonia with Spain say that things are worse. According to the Observatori del Finançament de Catalunya in 2005 the Catalan deficit was €19,176,000,000. That is a 10.5% of Catalan GDP. And what does this percentage mean? Simply twice and a half the maximun fiscal deficit legally stablished in Germany and its länder. So if Spain were Germany the economical relationship between Spain and Catalonia would be illegal. But of course this is not Germany (sometimes I wonder if this is Europe) and everything is possible here (against Catalans, of course). Democracy is transparency, they say in all the democracies of the world. But its Spanish translation is: democracy is piracy. Who said transparency? Oh yes, transparency is what Spanish avoid when Catalans are around (we are not normal, remember?). Not in vain, the information about interterritorial fiscal scales is the most hidden secret in Spain since 1996, breaking year after year a Spanish parliament mandate. The reason? Spanish Government says that there are many ways and methods for calculating them and that there is no consensus (do Spaniards know that fiscals scales are published every year in all European countries according to monetary flows? I insist, is Spain in Europe?). "We will go on trying it" said President Zapatero last May. Trying it? Do you mean that you need 11 years to know how to calculate the interterritorial fiscal balances? What kind of economists are there in Spain? What it seems is that fiscal scales are not so interesting (I mean that Spaniards are not interested in showing where our money is invested, so shaming it is).
Just some significant indicators to sum to Catalan fiscal deficit (and due to it):
- The 72 % of the payment highways of Spain are in Catalonia
- Catalonia is the European country with more payment highways per km2
- Catalonia has just the 4.13 % of the free highways in Spain
- Catalonia has the 26 % of the car accidents of Spain
- The 36 % of the Catalan road network has a high or very high risk of accident rate due to the low Spanish public expenditure
- Catalonia is the 19 % of the total GDP of Spain but the total Spanish public expenditure in Catalonia is just the 14 %
- The fiscal deficit of Catalonia in 2005 is four times the total cost of Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games
- Catalans have a fiscal deficit of € 2,704 per capita yearly
- Catalans recieve € 415 per capita in concept of total inverstment while the Spanish average is € 477
- With that fiscal deficit the whole Catalan public health system deficit could be payed
- Since 1991 the public expenditure in the Autonomous Comunity of Madrid is twice the public expenditure in Catalonia
- The investment of the Catalan railroad network has been manifestly insufficient for the last 20 years
- The failures, delays and accidents in the Catalan railroad network are common every day affecting hundreds of thousands Catalans
This situation is called "solidarity" in Spain. If you do not speak Spanish "solidarity" means "Catalans pay and shut up" in the democrat Spain. When Catalans denounce this situation we are called thieves, rude primitive nationalists, anti-Spanish xenophobes, and they say we lie and the reality is that we have no solidarity with the poorest Spanish regions while we have uncountables benefits from Spain (which are these benefits? Ultra-Spanish nationalists give no economic datum. We are Catalans, and that is enough. We are the origin of all evil. Do they need more datum? We deserve our situation. If we were good Spanish people they wouldn't have to plunder us). Any Catalan attempt to force the Spanish Government to publish the interterritorial fiscal sclaes is called blackmail for some Spanish media (as an example: the ultra-catholic-Spanish radio star Federico Jiménez Losantos said in prime time "The Government only talks to terrorists, homosexuals and Catalans. When is it going to talk to normal people?" -La Mañana de la COPE -June, 13 2005)
This table represents the last information we have about the financial scales per Autonomous Comunities in Spain (period 1991 - 1996). As you can see Catalonia was the second Spanish Autonomous Comunity with a higher fiscal deficit. It has yearly grown since then and Spain gives no official information about it.
Just some comparisions:
- Extremadura was the most favoured Autonomous Comunity then (and so it is nowadays)
- Nowadays, Extremadura has new free highways which are half empty (the population density there is 25 inhabitants per km2 while in Catalonia is 220 inhabitants per km2)
- In 2004 there were 1,200,000 poor people in Catalonia
- In 2006 Extremadura had a population of 1,086,373 inhabitants
- Even though all the investment Extremadura receives, it is not decreasing but increasing while the fiscal pressure of Catalonia is growing every year (but of course, we have no right to claim, we are Catalans, never forget that)
This is what we call Modern democratic colonization (maybe too similar to the traditional colonization). Catalonia is not Spain but a Spanish colony. Facts are facts, and "legal" plunder is "legal" plunder. Spanish democracy = piracy.