Article published by Catalan News Agency (ACN), 7th April 2016.
Catalan vice president and Catalan Minister for Economy and Tax Agency, Oriol Junqueras (by ACN)
Barcelona (CNA).- The Catalan Government “won’t make any cuts”to correct Catalonia’s deficit target, which in 2015 surpassed the maximum deficit established by the Spanish Government. “If the Spanish Ministry wants to make cuts or shut down hospitals, it will have to come and do it itself”, stated the Catalan vice president and Catalan Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras. This warning comes after the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, sent a letter to several Autonomous Communities in Spain urging them to “comply with the budget stability”. Montoro gave a 15-day deadline for the Government to decide in which fields it will apply the additional cuts requested. Junqueras explained that Catalonia already allocates 70% of its budget to social policies and that 90% of the Government’s expenses are final. “The Spanish Finance Ministry has imposed so many cuts in the last years that any additional ones are simply inapplicable”, stated Junqueras.
Junqueras met the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, this Thursday to analyse Montoro’s letter and agree on the next steps to take. Junqueras also asked the Spanish Finance Minister to specify the amount which needs to be reduced, as the letter “is not concrete”. “The letter doesn’t specify any amount. It simply says that we must make the necessary limitations to comply with the deficit target”, he lamented.
“We will defend our basic services”stated left wing pro-independence ERC’s leader. Although he assured that he understands the Spanish Ministry’s difficulties to comply with the deficit target established by Brussels, he emphasised that these difficulties can’t be transferred to the Autonomous Communities. “We won’t shut down schools nor hospitals, no matter how much the Ministry tries to transfer their responsibilities to the Communities”warned Junqueras and added that “the solution is taking everything out on the citizens”.
Read the full article here.