dissabte, 6 d’octubre de 2007

Reason 5: No power of decision = economic decline

The development of the new Catalan constitution (Estatut) has clarified many things about the subordinate situation of the Catalan government.

In order to fully represent and defend the interests of Catalonia we need a government with full power of decision, not what we have now, which looks more like a secondary agent of the Spanish government, a regional government.

At this moment the Catalan government is not allowed to organize a referendum for anything. What kind of a democracy is this?
The Catalan government is not allowed to decide anything of importance without permission of the Spanish government, and this brings us to a core problem:
Many Catalans see Catalonia as our country. We want to decide by ourselves how we want to organize our country. We don’t think it is fare that other people 500 kilometres away decide for us. We don’t think this because the past 400 years we have suffered from this very badly. Since the sixteenth century, several unfair measures have been taken. I won’t enter in details. But still today we suffer of a lack of power of decision, and Spain is deciding for us. They see Catalonia as any other Spanish region, not as a country. And they don’t think we should have a government with more power of decision than any other region.
But the results of this are a real disaster:

1. The local railroad system (rodalies) is still in Spanish hands. And Spain has punished Catalonia for years by not investing in maintenance in Catalonia. As a result of this several delays and accidents have occurred. In the meanwhile, our railroad system has remained as it was in the 1980’s while in the rest of Spain there have been generous investments.

2. The airport of Barcelona is also in Spanish hands. This week they have decided who will get to work in the new terminal. Two groups that have Iberia and Spanair as partners will run it. With this decision the airport in Barcelona won’t be able to fully compete with Madrid in intercontinental business. Madrid keeps the monopoly of intercontinental flights in Spain. Barcelona is not able to compete on the same level. The Spanish minister Magdalena Álvarez promised that there will be intercontinental flights. But the reality is that we over and over again have to fight to get what belongs to us. And they don’t just give it away, they rather keep it for themselves.

3. At this moment Catalonia is the autonomy that pays more taxes in Spain. Nearly 20.000 million euros (that is €!!!) are taken away from Catalonia and never come back. The Catalan government is not able to change this situation.

4. As a result of the same punishment by not investing in Catalonia you can see that the underground in Madrid has grown from 100 to more than 300 kilometres the past years while Barcelona didn’t grow much. The investments in Madrid were 3 times higher than in Barcelona.

5. Also the roads didn’t change much. We have a majority of toll highways in Catalonia, while in Madrid they have all free ways. The last years the Spanish government has invested millions on free ways in Madrid. In Catalonia nothing. You can see the difference on the picture above.

As a result of all these developments the economy in Catalonia is not growing properly. Multinationals prefer to choose a location near an airport with intercontinental flights. The public investments on roads, public transport, schools and all necessary infrastructures are efficient ways of promoting a place over another. Catalonia has been left aside for many years now, and over and over again we have to see today that the Spanish government is suffocating Catalonia. The economic growth of Catalonia is decreasing. Obviously a deteriorated infrastructure, lack of public investments and protectionist measures in Madrid are today quelling and will keep quelling the development of Catalonia unless we choose for independence. Besides, the effort Catalonia has to do to get justice is so much, if Catalonia was independent we could use our time for more constructive things.

For this very important reason I am positive that Catalonia should become an independent country as soon as possible.

8 comentaris:

Miquel Marzabal Galano ha dit...

For more information on the situation of Catalonia you can download this pdf file where everything is explained:
You can search for "pep_can_pixapins" in Google and will find loads of detailed information. (only in Catalan).

Anònim ha dit...

We Mexicans also have the same problem of Spanish culture and identity being forced onto us. Castilians invaded our lands in 1519, murdered 95% of our population, and forced the rest of us into a Castilian slavery. We were forced to speak Spanish (Castilian) and today we are falsely called "Hispanics" when we are NOT Spaniards. This is done to erase our Pre-Hispanic identity and pride. Maybe you can write something about that, too.

Rab ha dit...

The fiscal robbery of which Catalonia is subject to has no precedent in Europe.

In Germany, they have a federal law that limits the Lands’ fiscal deficit to 4%, and public finances are transparent and fully disclosed.

To date, the Spanish government has always refused to disclose the fiscal balances between Catalonia and the Spanish State. Academics and the Spanish bank BBVA reckon that Catalonia’s fiscal deficit currently stands at about 12-15%, a 200% increase from the historical levels of 5-7%.

The purpose is clear: the Spanish State wants Catalonia to be weaker economically, a second to Madrid, so that the political influence of Catalonia is also weaker.

Anyone who lives in Catalonia, regardless of origin, is a victim of this fiscal robbery yet the mass media in Catalonia keep very quiet about it. Not for long though… change is on its way.

More information on the fiscal deficit scandal on:

+ University of Barcelona Professor Ramon Tremosa (in English) [http://www.ramontremosa.cat]


+ Harvard study on the “unique” way state-owned company AENA manages airports in Spain:

+ a nice summary in English by a fellow blogger.
http://soscatalonia.blogspot.com/2007/06/catalonia-plunder-spain.html -

Miquel Marzabal Galano ha dit...

Anonimous, (why are you anonimous?)
it is very interesting what you say here. I think native Americans have all the right to claim what is theirs and has been taken away from them.
The social status of native Americans in the whole American continent is a shame.
I have seen the web site you mention is talking of Columbus as a horrible person. I didn't know he personally carried out holocaust-like activities. I know there were Spanish militairs who did, but Columbus? I thought Columbus was a brave man who thought to be able to arrive to India, as he thought the world was round and didn't know America existed. Is this story a fair tale? Or I just don't know the rest of the story?

Miquel Marzabal Galano ha dit...

Hi Rap,
your first two links are incorrect.
Perhaps you can send them again but complete.
I took a look at the third one (sos catalonia). It's amazing that something like this can go on without anyone being able to stop it.
It's also amazing that not even more people are completely convinced that Catalonia should become independent as soon as possible!
But as the world is becoming more and more democratic and as we are entering in a new era in which media are not any more censured and controlled by the political parties we'll see that more and more people are able to understand what's going on here. And then the majority pro-independence of Catalonia will be overwhelming.

Miquel Marzabal Galano ha dit...

Sorry Rab, I wrote Rap. But it's Rab.
Is that a Catalan name? Don't think so...

Rab ha dit...


apologies for the delay, been very busy lately...

Rab is Scots for Robert!

Check out this blog, another Catalan explaining why we need to break away from Spain in English.


Miquel Marzabal Galano ha dit...

Thanks Rab,
I know s.o.s. Catalonia.
Thank you
The more the merrier.
Lately not much time to work on the blog. But I haven't abandoned. I'll come soon with a new post.