The Government assumes that there will be no agreement with the PP on financing

If the General Council of the Judiciary accumulates five years with its mandate expired and with no signs of PSOE and PP reaching an agreement to renew it or with European intermediation, the autonomous financing system for the communities of the common regime currently in force expired ten years ago.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 10:20
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The Government assumes that there will be no agreement with the PP on financing

If the General Council of the Judiciary accumulates five years with its mandate expired and with no signs of PSOE and PP reaching an agreement to renew it or with European intermediation, the autonomous financing system for the communities of the common regime currently in force expired ten years ago. years. And there is no sign of any understanding between both parties, nor within them, to agree on a new model this year. An exercise, furthermore, conditioned by an intense electoral calendar.

Only the proposal launched before the Catalan elections of 12-M by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, in demand of a “unique” financing model for Catalonia similar to the one that operates in Euskadi, manages to align in its rejection of PSOE and PP , and the communities they govern, which are the vast majority of the autonomous map.

Pedro Sánchez himself immediately ruled out singular and specific financing, such as the Basque or Navarrese model, to meet the needs of Catalonia: “The response has to be multilateral,” he alleged. Although he highlighted that, under his mandate, “Catalonia has had record financing and record public investment from the general administration of the State.”

The objective of the central Executive is to achieve a new financing model for all the autonomous communities of the common regime, as it already tried without success in the previous legislature, for which it demands an agreement with the PP of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who now governs. in 11 of the 17 autonomies. “The moment is opportune,” claims the spokesperson for the Executive, Pilar Alegría, despite the fact that the pact with the PP is recognized as being as unlikely as renewing the governing body of the judges. And this is also assumed in the PSOE.

In his last meeting at Moncloa, in December of last year, Sánchez unsuccessfully proposed to Feijóo to establish a working group between both parties to reform regional financing. The PP referred to the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council, the body that brings together the Minister of Finance, Vice President María Jesús Montero, with the regional councilors of the branch, so that this framework guarantees the “multilaterality” of the negotiation, in addition to the “equality” between all the communities of the general regime.

But Feijóo himself chooses to leave the ball in the Government's court. And he also refused to establish a common criterion among the communities governed by the PP in the Córdoba declaration that he sealed this same month of March to align strategies with all the popular territorial leaders, precisely to not open the can of thunder between his barons, with very different interests.

In the Government they highlight that there is no consensus among the regional presidents of the PP, "not even remotely", which removes any possibility of agreement to reform the current financing model, despite the fact that it expired in 2014.

The current organic law dates back to 2009, under the mandate of the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, with the expectation of being reviewed after five years. But the reform continues to sleep the sleep of the just, despite Montero's efforts to advance the review, at least with partial agreements, in the last legislature.

The latest report from the Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (Fedea), which demanded to reform the regional financing system – to begin with a leveling fund of 3,000 million euros for underfinanced communities – did immediately align regional presidents from the PP and the PSOE, such as the Andalusian Juanma Moreno Bonilla, the Valencian Carlos Mazón and the Castilian-La Mancha Emiliano García-Page. But these transversal tunes do not please the leaderships of their respective parties either.

What Pere Aragonès did achieve was to bring the territorial leaders of the PP and the PSOE into agreement with his demand for fiscal sovereignty for Catalonia. Although Pedro Sánchez closed the door on this proposal, some regional presidents and territorial leaders of the PSOE immediately raised the alarm.

“They ask for independence but, in any case, money and fiscal privilege,” Page from La Mancha flatly rejected. “If someone wants to leave, he does not also ask others to pay him, it would just be missing,” he criticized. And he assured that he will firmly defend, and at any cost, “a Spain without privileges of any territory over the rest.”

The Asturian president, the socialist Adrián Barbón, joined in rejecting Aragonès's proposal, “in a clear, sharp and emphatic manner.” And he declared himself “totally against the reform of a regional financing system that breaks with the multilateral agreement and solidarity between Spaniards.” The leader of the Andalusian socialists, Juan Espadas, also replied to the Catalan president, in defense of “equality” between territories: “Andalusia and Catalonia are communities with a common fiscal regime, and the new financing model will not be the result of a balanced agreement between all of us with the Government or it won't be.”

The coincidence is total, in this case, with the regional presidents of the PP. The Andalusian Moreno Bonilla rejected Aragonès' demand as "a missile to the principle of interterritorial solidarity and the principle of equality among Spaniards." The Galician Alfonso Rueda, the Murcian Fernando López Miras, the Valencian Mazón and Isabel Díaz Ayuso also did so, who accused the president of the Generalitat of “laughing in the faces of the people of Madrid.”