Read in Catalan

No response. One week after it was revealed that the state has invested much less in Catalonia than it has promised, the Spanish government continues to ignore the numbers while at the same time making excuses for them. This despite the fact that the Spanish treasury's own figures state that in 2021 the state's actual investment in Catalonia was only 35.8% of the figure set down in the Spanish budget, which was passed with the support of pro-independence parties ERC and the PDeCAT. That is, of the 2,068.1 million euros initially destined for Catalonia in the accounts, only 739.8 million euros only arrived. To this injury must be added the insult arising from the fact that, at the other end of the scale, the Community of Madrid received a rain of millions as the state spent 184% of what it had planned to, with 2,089 million euros invested in the Spanish capital's region when only 1,229.4 million euros had been budgeted.

The issue has aroused great indignation in Catalonia, especially among the pro-independence parties, who have, on yet another issue​, called on the Moncloa government palace to respond. After press conferences and public regrets, today it was the ERC senator, Mirella Cortès, who directly addressed the Spanish PM on the reality of the investment situation. "Catalonia always pays, but does not receive its fair share," she asserted. "Every Spanish government has promised a rain of millions in Catalonia, but it never falls. And so it goes, year after year." In the face of this, the senator demanded solutions, and for the executive not to hide in the excuse of the pandemic and the Ukraine war to justify an aberrant deficit.


Kicking the can

However, prime minister Pedro Sánchez continued to use a response of denial. He cast doubt on why this disparity exists between Catalonia and Madrid, and also on the underlying reasons for the low budget execution. And he also opted for other strategies. For example, after claiming that the commitment of his government is "unequivocal, firm and emphatic", comparing it with that of the previous government of the People's Party, he decided to deny the evidence because, he said, for this first quarter of 2022 the promises are already being fulfilled: investments are 67% higher than the previous year. "Don't subscribe to a discourse of territorial grievance that isn't so," he said.

He then once more justified the situation with external factors, as was done last week, when the spokesperson for the Spanish executive, Isabel Rodríguez, argued that the government had had "two very difficult years" in which "the world had stopped" and this fact "had an impact on the public investment of all administrations". Sánchez referred again to the paralysis of economic activity due to the pandemic and the problems of material supply in order to explain that Catalonia has only seen a third of the funds promised.

And he also went further, pointing to the Catalan government itself as partially responsible for the grievances that the territory is experiencing. He recalled that investments in Catalonia would have been greater if the state had been able to allocate "the investments that were intended to be offered for the expansion of El Prat airport and which you rejected". Not only that: "We have set up two infrastructure and investment monitoring committees, but you need to appoint a representative to be able to hold that meeting." Furthermore, and as the PSC has already said in the Catalan Parliament, he warned that the lack of investment is something of which the Catalan executive is also guilty, having only fulfilled 57% of its budgeted spending on infrastructure. "And no one is questioning whether you are against the interests of Catalans," he said.