Article published at Catalan News Agency, 17th June 2016
Photo: Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during the presentation of Catalonia’s Economic Report for 2015 (by ACN)
Barcelona (CNA).- It is “false” that the pro-independence process is provoking a “company drain” in Catalonia. This is what Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, stated this Thursday during the presentation of Catalonia’s Economic Report, at the Chamber of Commerce. According to this document, 815 companies in Catalonia moved their tax base in 2015, which represents 0.32% of the total and 14% less than in 2014. He also explained that 1,035 companies which had been resident in Madrid relocated their fiscal headquarters outside that Autonomous Community, representing 0.5% of the total. Puigdemont lamented that those who claim that companies are increasingly leaving Catalonia due to its political process try to “to spread the rumour” of an economic reality which “doesn’t help to create an atmosphere of confidence”. An atmosphere which, on the other hand, “foreign investors and most of the companies in Catalonia do have”, he said.
Puigdemont also noted that Catalonia obtained better figures than Madrid in other areas such as foreign investment, exports, tourism, occupation and public finances. This proves that the Catalan economy “is doing its task”, as the Economic Report reflects.
He also criticised that the Spanish State increased its expenditure by 4.2% during the worst years of the economic crisis while it urged Catalonia and other administrations to make “efforts” and reduce their levels of spending. Indeed, he emphasised, Catalonia reduced its public spending by 13.7%. “A great and tough effort has been demanded from the people and the Catalan Government, which manages basic services such as education, health and social services, while the Spanish State didn’t fulfilled its agreements, especially those regarding the funding system, which has been out of date for two years and a half” he lamented.
Economic growth higher than the Eurozone average
Catalonia’s Economic Report shows that the Catalan economy grew by 3.3% during 2015, according to data released by the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE), which is more than two times the average growth of the Eurozone (1.6%). Moreover, Catalonia is amongst the Autonomous Communities within the Spanish State which registered the most dynamic economic growth.
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