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The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, has spoken out this Thursday after newly-published data demonstrated the disinterest that the Spanish state has towards the Catalan economy and financing. The Spanish treasury's financial settlement figures for the year 2020, published this morning, are overwhelming: Catalonia was the second-ranked territory of the Spanish state in terms of tax contribution per inhabitant, rising one position compared to 2019, the year in which it had reached third place in the table. But in terms of the resources received from the central government, there is no change: Catalonia maintains the tenth position it has occupied in previous years. When examined in percentage terms, the numbers are also concerning. Catalonia is 17 per cent above the average in tax contributions paid, while the subsequent redistribution places it 1.5 per cent below the average.

Presented with this clear demonstration of the situation, Pere Aragonès spoke out bluntly, in particular pointing out how the situation has become chronic over time. "For yet another year, Catalonia has received below-average resources," he protested on Twitter. "Chronic underfunding, as a result of an unfair and arbitrary funding model." The president did not stop there, and also stated what he sees as the only possible recipe to reverse this situation of neglect: "We need the tools of a state to be able to end this plunder and guarantee more and better opportunities for everyone". Independence, then, is the only option on the table for Aragonès.

Jaume Giró, also critical

The president of the Generalitat government was not the only one to speak out forcefully when these figures were published. Aragonès's minister of economy and finance, Jaume Giró, also stressed that the data "again shows that the redistribution mechanisms used by the Spanish financing system encourage an arbitrary distribution of resources" among Spain's 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities. And he didn't stop there, but he also recalled that there are other territories in the Spanish state that are in the opposite situation. "While Catalonia always loses between 7 and 8 positions, other communities with a tax capacity well below average systematically receive more resources per inhabitant than Catalonia." This is the case of Castilla y León, La Rioja and Cantabria, for example. For the minister, it is also necessary to add another fundamental question in addition to all of this, without which the debate loses weight: Giró recalls that "it is necessary to take into account the historical underfunding of Catalonia, the millions of euros that Catalonia generates every year and which evaporate, and the limitations of the Generalitat's resources". It is not the first time that Giró has made this warning: in February he already warned that "the state has no intention of correcting the financial imbalance", and regretted that Catalonia wants to be "a welfare country", but it cannot be "because we they take resources from out of her hands."