Catalan Government stands up Spanish minister over investment deficit
Officials absent from event presenting infrastructure project as Spanish Minister accuses Catalan government of stirring up confrontation
BarcelonaFar from abating, the storm between the Generalitat and the State over the investment crisis is growing in intensity. On a visit to Catalonia, the Spanish Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, had convened an event to announce several infrastructure improvement projects which ended up deriving in the umpteenth conflict between the Spanish and Catalan governments. In spite of the fact that the Generalitat had previously informed it would attend, it ended up standing up the minister to highlight, once again, its dissatisfaction with State's investment in Catalonia. Relations between the two governments are degrading with every passing day, especially taking into account that this is not the only conflictive area: Catalangate spying scandal is yet to be dealt with and no progress has been made on the conflict over sovereignty.
The ministry had called the event in Esplugues de Llobregat to present "its agreement with the Generalitat and city councils" on the future of the B-40 motorway. Spanish Minister Sánchez would be in attendance, as well as that of the Catalan Secretary General of the Vice-Presidency, Digital Policies and Territory, Ricard Font. Spanish government sources claim the Catalan side had confirmed their attendance, as do other sources familiar with the organisation of the event.
This Friday morning, however, from La Seu d'Urgell Catalan president Pere Aragonès criticised the Spanish Ministry's proposals for the B-40, claiming the ministry's proposals for the B-40 "are not supported by any specific agreement". They are "again", he added, "words" without any guarantees they will be carried out. The new clash with the State was confirmed when the Catalan Department of Digital Policy and Territory sent a statement announcing it would not be present at the event "as a sign of rejection of the State's lack of investment in Catalonia".
The origin of the investment crisis, which saw a new chapter today in Esplugues, dates back to the end of May. A report from the State itself admitted that in 2021 only 35% of the State budget in Catalonia had been executed in 2021 in Catalonia. On the contrary, in Madrid, execution reached 184%. What the document ultimately reflected was that relations between the State and the Generalitat not only did not advance in the field of the conflict over sovereignty, but neither in the field of investments.