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Over the weekend, a person who is thoroughly familiar with the state of our health care model - and the financial pressures it is under - made an alarming prognosis: it is impossible for the system to hold out as it is for many more years in Catalonia, it has already irreversibly entered into the final stage. A diagnosis that is certainly very desperate, bearing in mind that Catalonia would have enough muscle to avoid being in this situation, if it weren't for the financial siphoning it is subject to through the current funding system. This analysis, which concerned me greatly, given the author's dual knowledge of the day-to-day in both the public administration and the hospital sector, bears a certain resemblance to the diagnosis of another professional, in this case from the education sector. As much as the Catalan government's budget has grown, the truth is that the school dropout rate in Catalonia exceeds 16% - it has increased by an alarming two per cent in the last year - while the Spanish average does not reach 14% and the European level is only a few decimal places above 9%.

This suffocating situation in health and education - when Catalonia is responsible for 19% of the Spanish economy and has a GDP per capita above the EU average - aggravates and exasperates Catalan society (or at least most of it) every time the fiscal balances are presented and the abuse inflicted on Catalonia by the Spanish government, the current one and all those before it, is quantified. The numbers speak for themselves: the deficit in Catalonia's fiscal balance with the state's public sector stood at 20.77 billion euros in 2020 and, the following year, in 2021, whose data was presented this Monday​, at 21.98 billion euros. This stratospheric amount also represents an historical maximum as a percentage, equivalent to 9.8% and 9.6%, respectively, of the Catalan GDP.

Our politicians, at least those who hold the key to Pedro Sánchez's investiture, will have to do something, because this situation - we are talking about the years 2020 and 2021, the last ones analyzed up till now - is not something that occurred under the governments of José María Aznar or Mariano Rajoy, but with Pedro Sánchez as prime minister, who was dependent on, for both for his 2020 investiture and his government action over the year since, the votes of pro-independence parties, on some occasions receiving those of the 13 deputies of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC). But it does not end there: according to the latest calculation of the fiscal balance prepared by the Catalan economy and finance department, Catalonia contributed more than 19.3% to the state in 2020 and 19.2 % in 2021, and received only 13.7% and 13.6% in these two years.

I repeat: the numbers speak for themselves, given that they are approaching 10% of Catalonia's annual GDP and are not far short of 50% of the Catalan government's budget for this year. In per capita terms, they mean 2,831 euros per Catalan. The model of inter-territorial solidarity cannot be based on the impoverishment of Catalonia, and, moreover, for this to be used as a sign of its economic decline. It is time to say that enough is enough and in this, not only must the political parties be heard, but also the economic organizations, the employers, the unions, the universities and Catalonia's dense network of associations. And it will have to be done forcefully, belligerently and without making easy deals, because, if not, the country will slip out of our hands and, far from being at the head of the European Union, will do nothing but lose positions, until we leave our children with a non-existent future, far removed from what Catalonia would be without the plunder it suffers year by year despite all the empty speeches and visits to Barcelona made in which the silver carpet is rolled out to those who perpetrate or allow everything to continue as usual.