The Government grants Catalonia 830 million of the Statute and of Cercanías


Barcelona

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The Catalan vice president, Jordi Puigneró (Junts), yesterday offered a triumphant assessment of his meeting in Madrid with the Secretary of State for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Isabel Pardo de Vera. The also Minister of Territory affirmed that the meeting served to unravel the transfer of Cercanías and the payment of hundreds of millions of euros of the “debt” in infrastructures with Catalonia, two issues that were the protagonists of the claims of the Generalitat until the ‘procés’ he buried any demands that were not in the line of self-determination.

As Puigneró explained to the press after leaving the meeting of the Bilateral Infrastructure Commission Government-Generalitat, the central Executive agreed to activate the “integral and definitive” transfer of the

Cercanías train service, already operated by the Generalitat, but whose ultimate ownership, as well as the ownership of the tracks and stations, remains in the hands of the State. Although there was already a prior commitment by the Government to give Catalonia the necessary resources to take over the service, the commitment on the transfer of ownership of the infrastructures had in no case been made explicit until yesterday. “We have started the journey towards the complete and definitive transfer of Cercanías,” explained Puigneró, considering a negotiation that has been dragging for more than ten years and that also affects Adif, a public company that owns roads and stations.

Sources of Ministry of Transport consulted by ABC they fully qualified the statements of the Catalan vice president, noting that although at the meeting the Generalitat did propose the integral transfer of the Cercanías service, the representatives of the ministry warned that this forum did not have powers to deal with this matter. The government interpreted Puigneró’s words as an excess, informs Guillermo Ginés.

Investment “debt”

In addition to dealing with the issue of Cercanías, Puigneró He also came out of the bilateral meeting assuring that the government had agreed to pay up to 3,500 million euros of the so-called third additional provision of the Statute of Catalonia. «A first part, the 559 million euros that are part of the payment for the year 2008, to which the State is obliged in compliance with a judicial sentence, will be taken to the next Joint Commission on Economic and Fiscal Affairs», He highlighted. “We hope that in the summer it has already been established how this payment can be made,” said Puigneró after the bilateral meeting. Along with this item, the Government agreed to transfer another 270 million for the operating deficit of Surroundings.

The item with the most political significance is that relating to the third additional provision of the Statute. According to this non-binding provision, the investment of the State in Catalonia in infrastructure must never be proportionally less than the weight of the community in the national GDP. With this pact, Catalonia tried to establish a kind of shielding in investment matters that subsequently thwarted the constitutional Court, which in its 2010 judgment did not consider the third additional one unconstitutional, but did point out that it did not limit the State’s margin in defining its investment policy. The third additional one could be a guide when designing the games, but in no case was it a mandatory clause.

No mention of El Prat Airport

The meeting between the Generalitat and the Government ended yesterday without any explicit mention of the millionaire investment to expand the El Prat Airport that was agreed in the previous bilateral, held in summer. At that time, the Govern negotiated a disbursement of more than 1,500 million, but the Executive he backed down when he found that the divisions between Junts and ERC made an initiative unfeasible that also added criticism from the commons and the CUP.

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