La Moncloa is unsuccessfully asking the PP for an agreement for regional funding

If the General Council of the Judiciary accumulates five years with the expired mandate and without appearances that the PSOE and PPa reach any pact to renew it or with European mediation, the regional financing system for the communities of the common regime currently in force will expire already ten years ago.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 11:21
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La Moncloa is unsuccessfully asking the PP for an agreement for regional funding

If the General Council of the Judiciary accumulates five years with the expired mandate and without appearances that the PSOE and PPa reach any pact to renew it or with European mediation, the regional financing system for the communities of the common regime currently in force will expire already ten years ago. And there is also no understanding between the two parties, or within them, to agree on a new model this year. An exercise, moreover, conditioned by an intense electoral calendar.

Only the proposal launched in view of the Catalan elections on 12-M by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, in demand for a "singular" financing model for Catalonia similar to the one operating in Euskadi, manages to align in its rejection the PSOE and the PP, and the communities that govern, which are the vast majority of the regional 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 answer must be multilateral", he alleged. Although he emphasized that, under his terms, "Catalonia has had record funding 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 right", claims the spokeswoman for the Executive, Pilar Alegría, although the pact with the PP is recognized as unlikely as to renew the governing body of the judges. And this is what the PSOE also assumes.

At his last appointment in Moncloa, in December, Sánchez unsuccessfully proposed to Feijóo to set up a working group between the two parties to be able to reform regional funding. The PP sent 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 of "equality" between all the communities of the general regime.

But Feijóo himself opts for the Spanish Government to have a say. And he also gave up setting a common criterion between the communities governed by the PP, in the Córdoba declaration that he sealed in March to align strategies with all the popular territorial leaders, precisely so as not to uncover the box of thrones among its barons, with very different interests.

The central government emphasizes that there is no consensus among the regional presidents of the PP, "not even remotely", which removes any possibility of an agreement to reform the current funding model, even though it expired in 2014.

The current organic law dates from 2009, under the mandate of the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, with the provision of being revised five years later. But the reform continues to sleep, despite Montero's efforts to advance the revision, at least with partial agreements, in the last legislature.

The latest report of the Fundació d'Estudis d'Economia Aplicada (Fedea), which demanded that the regional financing system be reformed - to start with an equalization fund of 3,000 million euros for underfinanced communities -, he did immediately line up several regional presidents of the PP and the PSOE, such as the Andalusian Juanma Moreno Bonilla, the Valencian Carlos Mazón and the Castilian-Mancheque Emiliano García-Page. But these transversal alignments are also not to the liking of the respective party leaders.

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

"They are asking for independence but, in any case, pasta and fiscal privilege", categorically rejected the Mancheque Page. "If someone wants to leave, they don't ask others to pay for it, it would just be missing", he criticized. And he assured that he will firmly defend, at all costs, "a Spain without privileges of any territory over the rest".

The Asturian president, the socialist Adrián Barbón, added to the rejection of Aragonès' proposal, "in a clear, sharp and resounding way". And he declared himself "totally against the reform of a regional financing system that breaks with the multilateral agreement and with the solidarity between Spaniards". The leader of the Andalusian Socialists, Juan Espadas, also responded 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 be the result of a balanced agreement between all with the Government or it won't be".

The coincidence is complete, yes, with the regional presidents of the PP. The Andalusian Moreno Bonilla rejected Aragonès' demand as "a missile against the principle of inter-territorial solidarity and the principle of equality between Spaniards". It was also rejected by the Galician Alfonso Rueda, the Murcian Fernando López Miras, the Valencian Mazón or Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who accused the president of the Generalitat of "laughing in the face of the people of Madrid".