September 21, 2020

The Senate urges the Government to greater financial control of Catalonia

The Senate urges the Government to greater financial control of Catalonia



The Senate Plenary today approved a motion by the PP that urges the Government to reestablish greater financial control of the Generalitat of Catalonia, with the votes of the proponent group and the support of Citizens and the rejection of the rest of the House.

Luisa Fernanda Rudi, of the PP, has referred to the different controls of these accounts in recent years, the initial of 2015 and the one of 2017.

For the first, the Delegate Commission for Economic Affairs conditioned the items of the Autonomic Liquidity Fund (FLA) to not be spent on creating state structures and set monthly guidelines for spending.

In 2017, a Council of Ministers adopted new measures to strengthen the general interest and guarantee of fundamental public services to strengthen this control over the payments of the Generalitat.

With the application of Article 155 of the Constitution those measures fell, as the Government directly exercised the functions of the Generalitat.

After the appointment of Quim Torra as president, its validity ends and the controls previously enforced are re-applied.

For Rudi, it is necessary to increase them because Torra persists in gaining independence and because since the Socialists govern, the Generalitat is dedicated "to finance objectives that have nothing to do with their competences".

Among these has cited the opening of new "embassies" abroad, the defense of independence abroad or payments for travel to visit former President Carles Puigdemont.

He said that the debt of Catalonia is "systemic" and amounts to 78,000 million, of which 55,000 are with the State, so the Government should be interested in monitoring what the money spends.

He has alluded to a recent ruling of the Supreme Court that states that "Spain is legitimized to control its bonds", since the Generalitat "is being financed by state funds".

Five amendments have been submitted to the initiative, which were not admitted.

In the defense of theirs, Carles Mulet, of Compromís, has recriminated that they use Catalonia to create confrontation and seek votes in other territories, arguments with which the spokespersons of Unidos Podemos, Nationalists, PNV and Esquerra Republicana have agreed.

José Montilla, PSOE, has argued that the control is now appropriate and that the "guardianships" of the State on financing are those provided by the provisions in force, which are the Executive of the PP.

Francisco Javier Alegra, of the mixed group, has shown himself in favor of the initiative because the Generalitat "spends money on absolutely illicit activities", so "exceptional measures" have to be taken.

For the nationalist group, Josep Luis Cleries has said that the intervention of Rudi has made him "more independent" and has defined "the obsession of the PP with Catalonia" of "truly tiresome".

In his opinion, the PP is concerned about independence "because the sponsor is gone," since every year 16,000 million Catalonia "for Spain, they do not return."

For María Dolores Etxano, of the PNV, to prosecute the policy and the total intervention of the State in Catalonia has not improved the situation, for which she has refused to repeat measures that exacerbate the tension and break the coexistence.

Joaquim Ayats, Republican Esquerra, has specified that financial controls affect the population and fundamental services and has predicted that these measures make the Catalan separatist more independent.

María Freixanet, from Unidos Podemos, has considered that "we must have the courage to accuse others of misusing public money", referring to the PP, whom it has accused of "doing everything it can" to prevent normalization.

Montilla has also accused the PP of "null political rigor and bad faith" and has indicated that the statements of the Catalan president "can not protect" that financial restriction.

"What they are interested in is not to solve problems," he added, "but to create or increase them," because the PP "does not practice institutional loyalty."

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