Never was the passing of a budget like that which Catalan vice-president Pere Aragonès propelled through the legislature with tenacity this Friday so indispensable for Catalonia and at the same time never has a set of government accounts so quickly become obsolete. This is the paradox of the unparalleled economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, which has left all administrations helpless to deal with it, since the fight against the pandemic needs a lot more resources in health and a whole battery of aid to the unemployed, workers, the self-employed, small, medium and large companies; so much, that it is literally beyond reach.
In the Catalan case, it will be necessary to face the crisis with the handicap of a historical fiscal deficit which should be spoken about much more often and explained better to our fellow Catalans. It ends up tying our hands in any significant initiative and at any time when there is hope of a minimum of financial autonomy.
Although this is the current situation, the increase in spending by 3.07 billion euros, concentrated mainly in social spending will help alleviate the current extreme need which could not be met without a new budget. Opposition parties such as the Catalan Socialists (PSC) and the leftist, pro-independence CUP have lost - for two very different reasons - an opportunity by failing to support the public accounts. The health pandemic and the scale of the economic crisis that is looming offered them a magnificent situation to rectify in something which in Madrid they always ask for: responsibility.
Nothing was to be expected from the pro-Spain parties of the right, the PP and Cs, who clearly play in another league, which is not that of leading governability in Catalonia, as they have no power at any level of administration: not at Catalan level, provincial level, in counties or in municipalities. This is not the case with the PSC, but nevertheless it preferred a discourse not at all differentiated from that of the Spanish right - making criticisms in order to distance itself from the pro-independence parties, even though it needs their votes in Spain's Congress.
The Catalan independence parties, prone to be too forgetful of the insults of the Catalan Socialists when they are needed, should take into account in Madrid's Congress of Deputies the treatment they receive in Catalonia. The Basque Nationalists do it almost daily and it doesn’t seem to be going so badly for them.