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Pedro Sánchez has stated, in the Congress of Deputies, that the level of execution of the state's budgeted expenditure in Catalonia, by his own Spanish government, must improve. He admitted this during a parliamentary debate to report on the regular European Council meeting, held in March, whose topics of discussion were Spanish aid to Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas. And he did so with the reluctance of one who responds basically to maintain the calm among his pro-independence allies and, in a slightly arrogant way, to explain to them that there are too many bottlenecks, that raw material prices have risen, that they have nothing against Catalonia and that it is not so strange either, since the Generalitat also has its problems when it comes to implementing the investment of its own budget.

If only it were to improve, as the Spanish prime minister indicates, we Catalans could be calm. The same might be said if he had just arrived in office. However, it turns out that this coming month of June will mark six years since his arrival at the Palacio de la Moncloa and it is not irrelevant to remember that this came about thanks to a no-confidence motion that would not have gone ahead without the support of the nationalist and pro-independence parties. Since that month of June 2018, many things have happened - among them, several elections - but the execution of the expenditure that has been budgeted for Catalonia has invariably remained on the waiting list. There are all kinds of data on this, and in none of them does Sánchez look good - speaking, naturally, of studies carried out by a range of bodies as each budget year has come to an end. A little different from the multiple press conferences in which things are sold as promises that never come to fruition in the way they are presented.

Let's give some data, even if it's just to shock ourselves again. In 2022, 42.9% of the budgeted investments in Catalonia were executed. It was the second worst figure since 2015 and the state average for autonomous communities was 73.2%. But the worst figure for this period was that of 2021, in which Catalonia was again, for the second consecutive year, the autonomous community with the lowest level of budgetary implementation. We are talking about 35.8%, a percentage that makes one's hair stand on end.

The average percentage for budget implementation (the part able to be attributed to autonomous communities) in Catalonia in the period 2015-2022 was 57.4%, a figure considerably lower than the average for the Spanish state as a whole (71%). Two last facts. The government of the Generalitat puts a total value of 2.738 billion euros on the state investment not executed by the government of Pedro Sánchez, an estimate that includes the period 2018-2021, since the state has not yet made available the data on the budgetary execution for 2022, let alone 2023. The employers group Foment del Treball calculated that from 2013 to 2020, the real execution of the state budget in Catalonia was 67.1%, signifying an approximate shortfall of 3.1 billion euros between budgeted spending and the investment which actually happened.

This financing debate could be held seriously and in a different context if Catalonia simply received what is its own

All these statistics should set off an authentic rebellion among the public. It is very difficult to be able to meet the needs that Catalan citizens deserve when there is permanent contempt on the part of the different governments of the state. And this does not include the fiscal deficit which is now approaching 22 billion euros annually. It should be a common demand across the entire Catalan political class - as it is in Euskadi - where the discrepancies only begin outside the Basque economic concert, and the parties that have not accepted that have been penalized by the voters, such as Ciudadanos and Vox. On the other hand, in Catalonia, the Spanish parties prefer to talk about the Catalan government's offices abroad, the cost of TV3 or aid to the Catalan language. An act of cynicism, since this debate could be held seriously and in a different context if Catalonia simply received what is its own. Or even what its gets after the solidarity quota it contributes.

For years this debate has been too urgent to postpone. The obligation of the majority is to place it once and for all in the front line.