Catalonia’s 21300 million euros fiscal deficit

Emili Valdero

The best video I’ve ever seen that explains in very plain (pardon the pun) terms the financial reasons for Catalonia’s independence is Emili Valdero’s presentation, you don’t need to be Catalan to understand it. Emili Valdero is a catalan economist, university professor and former member of the catalan government. And he repeats this speech in every act of the Catalan independentist political association (link in catalan).

Below is a 5 minutes excerpt of Emili’s presentation with english and catalan subtitles (although Youtube allows you to instantly translate it to any other language).

Amongst some facts it mentions that it costs each catalan citizen 3000 euros every year to be part of Spain, or in another terms the catalan fiscal deficit, the amount the Catalans give Spain that never comes back, is of 21300 million euros every year. This represents 10% of Catalonia’s GDP. In comparison federal states like Germany, the USA or Canada limit by law wealth redistribution from richer to poorer states to a maximum of 4%, 4.5% and 2% respectively since it is acknowledged that a greater amount would severely affect the richer’s states economy and their ability to keep generating wealth. In Spain there’s no limit to these redistributions.

As a result of this deficit Catalan infrastructures and social welfare including airports, motorways, trains, public transportation, education, public healthcare suffer from a chronic lack of funding that most of Spain doesn’t and this becomes even worse in the middle of a strong crisis like we are now. This is threatening Catalonia’s survival and financial viability. Catalonia needs solutions to its own problems from a Catalan point of view, not from a Spanish point of view.

If Catalonia became independent it would automatically increase its government’s budget by 70% and it would instantly become the 4th state in average income in the euro EU. More or less like the Netherlands, not a bad start.

The title to this article: “Catalonia is the most generous territory in the world” is a quote from the video. It’s an irony since generosity tends to be a voluntary act. When you have no say in these affairs, just like the Catalans, I would rather call it theft.

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