dimarts, 16 d’octubre de 2012

Reason 36: Best way to lower the risk premium, reducing public debt and, therefore, getting out of the crisis.

I've been trying to find information on the risk premium of the future Catalan State and unfortunately could not find any concrete data. The risk premium is going up and down constantly and it seems difficult to find meaningful data.
 However, I have read some articles that point to a lower Risk premium with independence. The conclusion I get is:
The new  Catalan state will discuss with Spain Catalan how much of the Spanish debt will take. This will only happen after there is an agreement. While there isn’t any agreement Catalonia will have the lowest debt in Europe, only 21% of the GPD.  Catalonia will agree taking a part of the Spanish debt with certain conditions, for example that Spain does not put obstacles  to the access of Catalonia to the EU or other international organizations (political, economic, sports, etc.). 
In any case, if Catalonia takes a big part of the debt, the debt won’t more than 75% of GDP. The exact calculations find them here: http://salaimartin.com/randomthoughts/item/424-la-falacia-de-la-deuda-heredada.html
This means that in the worst case scenario the Catalan state debt will far below the Spanish and also lower than the European average. Next to this it must be said that Catalonia will not suffer from the fiscal deficit and will have a surplus so it won’t be a problem to pay back the debt. This will mean that, as Catalonia will have a large capacity to pay money back, the status of the Catalan State will go from the current status ‘junk' to go towards having  a AA or AAA.
To this one must add that all blockades Spain aplies to Catalonia will vanish, and as a result of this the Catalan economy will grow and the situation will get even better. Spain has over the years (not worth to say how many, we should go back too far back in history) applied several laws  and measures against the interests of Catalonia. There are several examples:
·      It has blocked the access of Catalan companies to the global markets (embargo of intercontinental flights to or from Barcelona is an example),
·      It blocks the support of Catalan companies (not supporting Spanair is an example but there are several more, such as Gas Natural that was blocked from the access to purchase a Spanish company just because they did not want a Catalan company to be the owner of a Spanish company, in the end the Spanish company was sold to a German party),
·      not investing in necessary infrastructures in Catalonia, not investing what they promised, Spain promised 18% of the total budget for Catalonia in infrastructures, as they recognized they had been investing unreasonably too few,  the fact is that the past few years they did not fulfill their promise and only dedicated 11% of the budget to Catalonia the past years, but in the end only 4% was really spent.
·      Harbour of Barcelona, Catalan highways, Catalan railways, Airport of Barcelona, they all are ruled by Spain and in all these cases we have to pay higher tolls, higher rates than everybody else, and get less, we have to deal with outdated trains, a permanent lack of investments for decades, and a constant embargo of our access to the global world. This is not a sustainable situation.  This is an extreme financial strangulation.
·      Catalans pay 2.6 billion euros (2.600 millions) for culture and only half of that is spent in Catalonia, with an own state the entire amount will be spent in our country.
·      We must add that having an own State will lower the unemployment rates by default, as I mentioned in another post as we are paying now 200.000 Civil servants in Madrid and these jobs will go to Catalonia  (http://raonsperlaindependencia.blogspot.nl/2012/07/rao-47 -only-way-to-create-400000.html).
·      The new Catalan State will need teachers and Catalan translators and interpreters around the world. This also will employ a handful of people.
All these blockades will vanish and  the economy will grow, which under Spanish rule is impossible. This will further reduce the risk premium and also the Catalan debt if we do things well.
Catalonia will have all its taxes to invest in the own facilities and infrastructures, in its own companies and its own culture (just like any other country in Europe) and will not have any embargos or blockades (that we do have under Spanish rule) as the EU does not allow such a situation between countries. We have in the EU a guarantee of freedom, democracy and human rights and any company can do business in any other country of the EU. So, it is not a matter of creating new borders, it is just a matter of being able to decide for ourselves, as the neigbour country is deciding for us and this is not working.
 A Spanish publisher said they would go. I do not think they would, companies want to earn money and nobody wants to lose the oportunity to invest in a growing market. In these days of severe crisis, certainly of the publishers industry, what publisher would move to Madrid, that will become the mirror of Athens,  and lose the oportunity of being part of a growing Catalan publising industry as a result of Catalan independence:

Conclusion: The new Catalan state will have great oportunities of development and the Risk Premium will be very low and whithin some years it could be between the lowest in the EU.

Other articles defending my arguments:


dissabte, 13 d’octubre de 2012

Reason 35: No independence = boycott forever. Independence = end of boycotts.

<< Poster calling for boycott of Catalan products 1931. One of the reasons given by some Spaniards against independence is the threat of a boycot of Catalan products. It is not the first time Catalan products have suffered from a Boycott. In 1931 Spaniards called to boycott Catalan products. In 2005, with the negotiation on the new Catalan Organic Law “Estatut”, Spaniards called again to boycott Catalan products. The boycotts have never ceased. Some Spaniards keep track of what companies are Catalan and boycott their products. They have made dozens of web sites dedicated to promote this never ending boycott. What they don’t understand is that the volume of Catalan companies in the Spanish market, partially due to this never ending boycott, has diminished from 80% in the beginning of the nineties, to around 30% today.
Catalan companies understood long ago that the Spanish market was shrinking (and the boycott helped a bit to shrink it even more) and seeked to grow in the European market, with which export has grown and the biggest part of the export volume today is in European countries rather than in Spain. If 20 years ago the majority of the Catalan entrepreneurs saw a necessity to remain under Spanish authority, today the majority of entrepreneurs do not have Spain as the main market any more. As in the 1930’s entrepreneurs feared to loose their advantage to have Spain as market, today Spain is more and more becoming a residual market that does nothing else but shrink. So, not very interesting. The boycott isn’t the only reason why this is happening, but it helps. So I would say to all Spaniards who are working hard to boycott our products: THANK YOU!
Evern since 1931 Spaniards boycott our products. I do not see any reason why they would stop as long as Catalonia is under Spanish dominance. In any case, the effect of the boycott has been calculated and in the worst of the cases it would mean 4% decrease of the Catalan GPD. But as we have a deficit of 8% our economy would anyway grow by 4%. Spaniards sometimes also boycott products from other countries, such as the boycott to French products during the nuclear exercises they carried out in the Pacific Ocean in the 90’s. As long as I can remember Spain hasn’t done any boycott to former colonies who proclaimed independence from Spain last century. Neither does the UK boycott any products of the USA or Ireland because they separated from the UK. Independence might lead to a boycott during the first years. But one thing is sure: we are having boycotts already since 1931. I am positive Spaniards will not boycott forever products from an independent Catalan State in the EU. The boycott will become a historic anecdote of the times in which Spaniards depended on Catalans and Catalans on Spaniards. I think for Catalans this is history already. Video on the positive effects of Spanish boycott (in Catalan): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcH2dfX7oCA&feature=relmfu Article on the effects of a boycott: http://pepegins.com/2012/09/30/atenuacio-de-lefecte-boicot-sobre-els-productes-catalans/ Cercle català de negocis also has done some calculations on this matter: http://www.ccncat.cat/articles/informa/catalunya-superaria-un-boicot-comercial-espanyol-en-cas-que-el-pa%C3%ADs-es-declar%C3%A9s The images of the boycott you can find in several websites dedicated to this Spanish hobby that feeds us of arguments for secession: http://www.forocoches.com/foro/showthread.php?t=455504&page=9 http://www.stralunato.com/2006/12/05/sigue-el-boicot-a-los-productos-catalanes/ http://cosasdegely.blogspot.nl/2012/10/cataluna-no-es-espana-pues-ahi-teneis.html http://lapoliticadegeppetto.blogspot.nl/2012/04/ciclogenesis-explosiva-politica.html

dilluns, 2 de juliol de 2012

Reason 34: Only way to create 200.000 vacancies in 24 hours and reduce unemployment in Catalonia by a third

One of the reasons I have vaguely spoken in this collection of reasons is labour. But up till now I hadn’t figured the way of counting how many jobs we miss in Catalonia as a result of not having an own state. Finally I have. The result is astonishing. We Catalans are so full that we are paying 200.000 Spaniards in Madrid to let them do our public duties proper of an independent state. We pay them to let them abolish our laws, we pay them so that they can barricade our access to the global world, we pay them so that they can bar the access of our culture and language to the international arena’s, we pay them so that they can prosecute Catalans and defend fascists, and we pay them to let them interfere in our Catalan domestic affairs such as education. From the day Catalonia becomes a European State we can stop giving these jobs to these Spaniards and create 400.000 vacancies in our own country in order to manage our own Ministries, our courts (that will finally defend Catalans instead of prosecuting them), our constitutional court, our immigration police and other institutions, our intelligence and our army, our passport services, our inspectors and advisors, our infrastructure specialists and institutions, our railroads, intercontinental airports and harbours, our institutions to promote Catalan language and culture around the world, our politicians in Europe, ambassadors, consulates, translators and interpreters and we are not even talking of all the private business that comes with it. We are talking, with investing 0 euro’s, spending as much as we are spanding today of decreasing the unemployment rate by a third!! (Unemployment of Catalonia today is 638.247, march 2012 ). All over the world we will need Catalan staff for embassies and consulates, we will need translators and interpreters, and by allowing intercontinental flights we will be able to multiply by 4 cargo commerce by air and also increase cargo commerce by ship from and to Barcelona. How many jobs shall bring a Catalan air company if Iberia does not steal all our intercontinental flights as they do now? We are speaking of thousands of jobs. Catalonia lives under an intercontinental embargo from Spain, that only allows some insignificant intercontinental flights from and to Barcelona. As a matter of fact, Spain has forbidden through more than 150 contracts to fly intercontinental from or to Barcelona. -- The way I counted this: Catalonia has got 3,4 million workers, of which 302 thousand are public jobs. This is 8,9%. The average level in Spain is 13,8 %. In Spain there are 19 million workers of which 2,6 million are public jobs. If the new Catalan state would have the same percentage of public jobs (which is not much for an independent state) we are paying 500.000 public jobs but only 300.000 of these jobs are in Catalonia. This means that with the Catalan state we can have this million jobs within the borders of our state, that is 200.000 extra people, working to develop Catalonia, instead of working against us.
In this graphic you can see that Spain does not have a high number of public jobs. This is due to the low level of welfare state. The countries that have the highest levels of welfare states have the highest percentage of public jobs. In this graphic you see the UK, has dramatically reduced the amount of public jobs (due to privatization), Holland and Germany a bit. Spain has increased the amount of public jobs. (Source: THE SIZE AND PERFORMANCE OF PUBLIC SECTOR ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE, Heinz Handler, Bertrand Koebel, Philipp Reis en Margrit Schartzenstaller). Sources: http://www.idescat.cat/territ/BasicTerr?TC=5&V0=3&V1=3&V3=1456&V4=1487&ALLINFO=TRUE&PARENT=25&CTX=B http://analisiocupaciopublica.gencat.cat/default.aspx http://servicios.mpr.es/publicaciones/ http://www10.gencat.cat/gencat/AppJava/cat/actualitat2/2012/20403aturdelmarde2012.jsp

dimarts, 10 d’abril de 2012

Reason 33: Only way to have and ensure (a real) self-government

When democracy was reinstalled after the dictatorship, Spain did not want Catalonia and Basque Country to have a ‘special treatment’. In order to give them a kind of self-government, they created the so called ‘State of the autonomies’, which consisted of a division of Spain into autonomic (reed regional) ‘governements’. Catalans and Basques thought that was a good idea and believed this would offer them enough competences in order to develop essential aspects of the Catalan and Basque nations. The fact the all the other regions got a self-government they never asked and they didn’t feel they ‘needed’ was irrelevant.
The Catalan government got several competences, such as Civil law, education or health care (1). During the last decades Catalonia has made several laws and applied most of them. But the Spanish government never abolished the Spanish ministries on these matters, even though they did not have these competences any longer. After more than 30 years of making laws Catalans can say today that living in Catalonia differs in many ways from living in other parts of Spain. A recent example is that bull fights are in Catalonia forbidden.
But the reality is that during this time Catalans have tried to play as if Catalonia was a sovereign country or a nation, while they had the competences any other Spanish region also had. We see our country, Catalonia as a nation, the Spaniards see it as a region. So, we Catalans played our ‘role’, in some cases through law making, and when law was not possible (blocked by Spain) we seeked for surrogate solutions (such as the stickers for car number plates with ‘CAT’).
But this Catalan dream seems to be coming to an end. The reality is that none of the competences has ever been transferred completely, and whenever a Catalan law does not like the Spaniards they annihilate it. Some of us woke up when the Spaniards reduced the new Organic law of Catalonia ‘Estatut’. And we can see how the Spanish ministries are more and more unsatisfied with the ‘State of autonomies’.
Even though the Spanish prime minister has said not to want to dismantle the ‘State of autonomies’, the idea is present within the Popular Party (PP) and within the Spanish population. This has come out lately in the news(2). The Spanish dream consists of Spanish supremacy all over the Spanish territory. And the ‘State of autonomies’ is a thorn in the eye of many of them. Many Spaniards (I think most) see as a logic, as proper, as a fundamental right to have equal Spanish education for everyone in Spain. This ensures their language’s supremacy. It also unifies content at school for everyone within Spanish borders (Spanish geography, history, literature, et cetera). Many Catalans can still remember a world like that (1939-1978).
This week Esperanza Aguirre (PP) declared her dissatisfaction with the ‘State of autonomies’. She spoke of taking back competences such as Civil Law, Education and health care.

A positive vote of PP and PSOE for such an idea could mean the end of the ‘State of autonomies’. They have got the majority and have shown to be capable of taking any step in order to ensure the continuity of a united Spain and the recovery of Spanish supremacy.
Today we can see the Catalan government does not seem to have any real competence, and even its existence is unsure as long as we remain under Spanish command.
Only becoming a sovereign state in Europe can ensure we will have real competences and will be able to really decide for ourselves without anyone else prohibiting us to be how we want to be.
As for now, the danger is getting bigger. I just hope enough Catalans wake up before it’s too late.

(1) http://www.gencat.cat/generalitat/eng/estatut/titol_4.htm
(2) http://www.directe.cat/noticia/193759/el-pp-engega-motors-per-liquidar-lestat-de-les-autonomies
(image ols Spanish school book: http://www.rafaelcastillejo.com/escuela-2.htm)

diumenge, 26 de febrer de 2012


Every year Catalans have to witness that speaking our own language in our own country can cost us our job, can cost us delays or denials to get what we order, rejection for participation or it can even cost us our health and dignity, we can even be beaten up just to use our language. It is not easy to understand for a citizen who lives in a ‘normal country’. A British citizen would find it something unbelievable, that for speaking in English to a policeman in London, the policeman would beat him up.

This is what we Catalans in our own country have to cope with. We have to cope with a constant psychological war against us, against our identity and language in our own country, and with the threat of getting into trouble or, in the worst scenario, get beaten up by people who are supposed to protect us against criminals instead.

Four weeks ago a lawyer from Barcelona was beaten up at the airport of Barcelona for speaking Catalan. Two weeks later a policeman sued a citizen in Mallorca claiming a lack of respect for the authorities because he spoke Catalan. The list goes on and on.

I have spoken to Kurds and Berbers and I have witnessed also on TV how people from other repressed cultures and languages are being discriminated in exactly the same way. Tibet is another example, but there are hundreds more.

There is only one conclusion possible to take here: Catalans are still, after 30 years of a supposed democracy, living in a repressive system. And we are in the year 2012! The repression is perhaps not written in the law, but it is still there, in every day life. Oh, and don’t think the cop who did that has been suspended or prosecuted, Not at all! The Spanish judicial system protects these criminals so that they can carry on with their repressive and intolerant activities. And this is happening systematically, over and over again. That is Spain today.

As one can see from any country that has acquired independence, this kind of repression is solved in an instant after independence. Norwegians, Finnish people, Irish people and many other people from any country that got independence, even the Dutch know this. Spain stopped bothering the Dutch and stopped repressing its people and its ideologies (Protestantism in the XVI century in the case of The Netherlands) from the moment they became an independent state from Spain. The Spanish have proved, for hundreds of years already, to have an intolerant nature. In the year 2012 there are no signs of change or regret what so ever.
Conclusion: Only independence can solve this bitter discrimination that leads to such an unpleasant disadvantage with even the threat of being beaten up by the police.