Intense even in figures. This was the first debate between candidates for Barcelona for the 28-A elections, with affirmations of economic character that have deserved the revision of the team of fact checking electoral The vanguard.
The head of the PP list, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, he was right when he said that Catalonia created 50% of the public occupation in 2018. According to the EPA last year, Catalonia contributed 67,500 of the 136,300 from the set of new public jobs.
The contribution to GDP is what must determine the level of investment of the State in the Catalan territory
But Álvarez de Toledo missed two key concepts. First, in the jobs. There were three million net jobs generated in the seven years of Mariano Rajoy, but 1,191,000, according to INE data. And, above all, when he said that Catalonia is no longer the economic engine of Spain. The figures still belie the popular candidate regarding the weight of the regional economies. Catalonia continues to be the Spanish locomotive, with a contribution of 19.2% of GDP, ahead of Madrid, which generates 18.9%, according to the latest revision published by the INE in December 2018. It is true that there are forecasts of the Airef and a study of Funcas that predict a sorpasso of Madrid, but still there are no official figures to support it, despite the fact that the Madrid GDP, according to the INE, grew a tenth more (3.3% by 3.2% ).
The contribution to GDP is what must determine, according to the controversial third additional provision of the current Estatut, the level of investment of the State in the Catalan territory. And Meritxell Batet, candidate of the PSC, in the debate organized by The vanguard.
Gabriel Rufián, number two of ERC for Barcelona, joined the dance of figures
Batet assured that the Sánchez Government's budgets, which were withdrawn from the parliamentary process, fulfilled, for the first time, the commitment that the Estatut makes. But in reality they fell short. The draft accounts of the State allocated 16.8% of the territorial investments to Catalonia: 2,051 million, 52% more than in the last year of Rajoy. Even so, it was far from 19.2% of the Catalan GDP contribution.
The game was closer if they added 200 million euros of outstanding debts that the Socialist Executive had also budgeted and that corresponded to the first of the four deadlines to meet the 750 million of the third additional provision of 2011. Adding that and other recognized debts by the Government, investment rose to 18.2%, still below the target.
Gabriel Rufián, number two of ERC for Barcelona, signed up for the number dance. Among its successes, the 5,005 places in Education, the largest summons of the decade. But it lacked context: the contest will reduce the interim and will not increase the number of professors.
Rufián was also vague when he spoke about the budget of the Generalitat. Those of 2017, extended in 2018, were not those with the highest social spending in Catalan history. According to Idescat, spending was higher in 2010 in the Salut items (9,709.39 million for 8,806.71 in 2017), for Education (5,317.61 for 4,821.14) and Treball, Acció Social i Família (which before they went separately, from 3,023.08 million to 2,872.03). The budgets of the Minister Pere Aragonès, who failed to approve the Executiu Council, did return to 2010 levels and in some cases exceeded it and social spending accounted for 70% of the total.
Rufián slipped when he said that none of the 98.9% small and medium companies had left. But the data provided by the Departament d'Economia to the fact checking team contradicts it. Between October 2017 and July 2018, 3,700 companies changed their headquarters. That flight did not stop Catalonia from closing 2017 with a net gain of 9,385 companies, up to a total of 618,366. Of those that decided to change headquarters, 80% are micro and small businesses. An important nuance.
* Information with contributions from Eduardo Magallón, Iñaki Pardo and Carina Farreras.