September 23, 2020

The PSOE breaks the FEMP and approves the minimum use of local surpluses




“A robbery”, denounced the Popular Party yesterday. Weeks of negotiations between the Ministry of Finance and the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) culminated yesterday with an agreement that only received the support of the PSOE -in fact it forced the socialist mayor Abel Caballero to express their casting vote to move it forward – and that has devastated years of consensus that was the hallmark of the municipalities.

The approved document includes the Government’s commitment to distribute 5,000 million of the budgets among the municipalities with remnants. In addition, it establishes that the local entities “voluntarily” will make their treasury available to the Government. In exchange, the State undertakes to transfer 2,000 million of their remnants this year and another 3,000 next year. This will be repaid in ten years, beginning in the year 2022. «The transfer is the only way to use the remnants. After handing them over to the state, it returns them to us free of deficits and ready to spend, ”argued the mayor of Vigo at the subsequent press conference.

A formula “imagination”, in the words of María Jesús Montero but that yesterday the FEMP government board broke in two, raising in turn a strong political dust. Of its 25 members, 12 votes were favorable (from the PSOE) and 12 were against (10 from the PP, one from Cs and one from the PdeCat). IU-Podemos opted for abstention on the understanding that the agreement is improvable, but that it could be addressed in the parliamentary process. Today, the council of ministers will approve the agreement, foreseeably, which must later be validated by Congress.

Abel Caballero argued that the approved allows local entities to choose “À la carte” yield their remnants, use the formula that currently regulates these surpluses or opt for a mixed formula. “The use of surpluses and surplus is compatible, according to the agreement,” explained the first mayor of Vigo.

The approval of the Treasury proposal, which also suspends compliance with the spending rule for municipalities in 2020 and includes a fund of 275 million Expandable to 400 due to the deficit in transport during the pandemic, it has generated criticism and criticism especially in the ranks of the PP. The popular leader, Pablo Casado, criticized the breaking of the consensus on Twitter and denounced thate “leave out those who need it most so that those affected by covid have help ». Later, its secretary general, Teodoro García Egea, who accused the government of being the “most expensive in history” and of “confiscating the savings of the municipalities”.

The president of the deputation of Ourense Manual Baltar, described what happened in declarations to ABC of “Attack on local autonomy” and described yesterday’s day as “a fateful day for FEMP”. In his opinion, with this maneuver, the PSOE has made a “partisan use” of this institution. Baltar reproached that, in this pandemic, the Government has not put “not a euro” for local entities and crossed out the proposal approved with the relative majority of the Sánchez party of “desperate economic-financial operation.”

In addition, “we received the last document yesterday and the variations were minimal compared to the previous one,” he says, which, in his opinion, shows the null effort to reach a consensus. “It is quite a theater”he sentenced. “This is a photograph of the political situation in Spain: faced with a remnant generated by good management in economically difficult times, the State arrives, intervenes and returns it in 10 years,” says Baltar.

On the Government’s commitment to distribute 5,000 million euros of the General Budgets among the municipalities, Baltar believes that he is a “bait” and warns that The entire pact is “harmful” for the municipalities and the provinces. In addition to “ignoring” rural municipalities, by imposing conditions on the use of the remnants.

“Something expected”

The critics of the popular had a quick response through a statement from the minister María Jesús Montero who assured that “the Treasury neither steals nor expropriates” the municipalities and directly accused the PP of “messing” by using these terms at the refererise to the proposal of your ministry. An agreement that also includes the commitment to continue moving forward in the new local financing, in parallel with the autonomic reform. The head of the FEMP announced that a technical working table will be set up for this purpose in September.

In the opinion of Valentín Pich, president of the General Council of EconomistsSome kind of agreement for the use of these remnants was somewhat expected and more, “after four or five consecutive years of economic growth.” In this sense, he highlights that the rise in the IBI (Real Estate Tax) had a lot to do with the formation of these surpluses and that he estimates in between 3,500 and 5,000 million euros. Pich also notes that “a relaxation of the spending rule has been introduced for this year and next” and shows his concern, especially for the public transport deficit – in the approved proposal there is a fund of 275 million for this purpose. In this line, it launches a notice: «There is knowing what to spend and how we link it to a follow-up to the efficiency of this spending. This is a discussion that I see little founded », aims.

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