The Catalan Government has responded to the appeal of Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno Bonilla, who called on Catalan businessmen to relocate their business headquarters to Andalusia, to take advantage of the tax benefits approved by the local government. “Leave the Catalans alone”, demanded the Catalan executive's spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, who attributed the Andalusian president's words to a “populist auction”.
After the Andalusian government passed a tax reform this Tuesday, Bonilla advised Catalan businessmen to move to Andalusia. “Catalonia has an inheritance and wealth tax, here we do not; besides, we will never become independent, because we are a proud part of Spain,” he argued.
Plaja, who insisted that the Catalan government is not considering any change to its fiscal policy —not even in inheritance and wealth, which Junts highlighted in their last congress—, stressed that it is not the first time an Andalusian politician focuses his statements on Catalonia. “Moreno would do well to put the Andalusian citizens in the centre instead of once again focusing on Catalonia and what Catalan citizens do”, advised the spokesperson, who insisted that “Catalonia will always decide its tax policy following the interests and needs of its citizens, not by entering a populist auction”.
In response to the press, the spokesperson also mentioned the proposal of minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, on tax centralization, and insisted that “centralization is never the best option” and that the objective of the Catalan government is to “manage 100% of its taxes”.
Tuesday's meeting was presided over by Vice-president Jordi Puigneró, due to the absence of Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, who is in New York on an official trip, accompanied by Teresa Jordà, minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. Also absent were Natàlia Garriga, minister of Culture, Victoria Alsina-Burgues, minister of Foreign Action, and Joan Ignasi Elena, minister of the Interior.
The Catalan government did not address the tension between the government partners during the meeting, according to Plaja. In fact, the spokesperson assured this is “the last space” to be affected by these “evident and known” differences between ERC and Junts. “It is true that the current situation is complex, especially in relation to the two parties that form the coalition,” admitted the spokesperson who, however, insisted this issue has been discussed for months and that the Catalan government “remains isolated” and will not affect the budgets.
Catalan suburban rail network situation, unsustainable
During the meeting, the vice-president expressed his “concern and indignation” for the situation of the Catalan suburban rail network, known as Rodalies to the rest of the members. He regretted that the problems experienced yesterday, which affected thousands of citizens, are added to the problems suffered in past weeks, which makes the situation “unacceptable”. Due to this, he demanded that Rodalies be transferred to the Catalan government.
“It is unsustainable. Out of respect for the rights of all Catalans, the only possible apology is the effective transfer. It is sustainable mobility week, there can be no sustainable mobility if the infrastructure does not work,” he reproached.