Monday, March 4, 2024

The autonomous communities go to the Fiscal Policy Council between expectation and discomfort | eCONOMY

The Fiscal and Financial Policy Council (CPFF) met this Monday amid anticipation and discomfort on the part of regional governments. The Treasury did not summon the councilors of the branch for a year and a half—the body must meet twice a year—despite the insistence of several regional barons to make an appointment. The meeting will also be held amid doubts caused by Catalonia’s transfers…

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The Fiscal and Financial Policy Council (CPFF) met this Monday amid anticipation and discomfort on the part of regional governments. The Treasury did not summon the councilors of the branch for a year and a half—the body must meet twice a year—despite the insistence of several regional barons to make an appointment. The meeting will also be held amid the doubts caused by the transfers in Catalonia within the framework of the investiture of Pedro Sánchez and with many elephants in the room. The agenda provides for the path of the deficit to be announced, but does not include the forgiveness of the regional debt agreed between the PSOE and the ERC or the reform of the financial system, an issue considered by most of the communities as a priority and that they want to put in place. or yes to the table.

“We have been asking for the meeting of the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council for several months,” said Luis Alberto Marín, Minister of Finance of the Region of Murcia, which is governed by a coalition between the PP and Vox. “This is the forum to discuss fundamental issues that affect the economy of the communities, such as the financial region, although we are surprised that the given agenda does not talk about this issue,” he added, and assured to request he the Government to respond. reform the system without delay.

The CPFF is the body where communities and the Government debate regional financing. It is usually convened at least once a year, in the summer, so that the Treasury can discuss with the regional councilors the deficit and debt goals and the spending ceiling, in addition to the account developments and the -progress in the liquidation of the system, one thing. that 2023 did not happen.

Account remittances are the resources that the State distributes annually to the communities through the financial system, it represents about 80% of their income and is essential information for designing the budgets of region. Some autonomies of the PP – which governs 11 of the 17 autonomies – such as Castilla y León, Madrid and the Valencian Community remember, in fact, that they asked a Council before to determine these amounts. “If there is no income statement, it is a problem to design the accounts,” said sources in the region. The agenda this Monday, however, only includes the path of stability, although the communities are consulted with the confidence that the amount of resources of the system will be transferred to them and that the debate on the financing reform will be addressed.

Determining the deficit goals is an obligatory step in the progress of the processing of the General State Budgets. Those for 2024 will come later, already in the year, due to early elections, but the Government has already moved its path of stability to Brussels: it has committed to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP next year, and in the case. in communities estimated a gap of 0.1%, according to the Budget Plan sent to Europe in October. Sources from the Principality of Asturias (where the PSOE governs) assure that they will support this basis – on which they are preparing their budget project – but they remember that it must pass a delicate examination: the road must be vote. in the Cortes, and the PP has a majority in the Senate.

“The accessory is the debt and the priority is the reform of the system”

“The accessory is the debt, and the priority is the reform of the financial system,” said the sources of the autonomy of the PP, which with this phrase summarizes the position of many other territories: any change -or the obligations of the region must be together. a model change. In addition, they rejected the investiture agreement between the ERC and the PSOE on the forgiveness of the regional debt, considering that it was made behind the back of other communities.

The agreement establishes that part of the liabilities of the common communities of the regime – all except the Basque Country and Navarra – generated by the negative economic situation will be forgiven. In the case of Catalonia, there are about 15,000 million, equivalent to 20% of the State’s regional debt. What is not known, which increases the discomfort of other regional executives, is that it is not known how to calculate that number, or how much will be given for other autonomies.

“At the moment there is nothing and we do not expect absolutely anything to be explained on Monday,” said Antoni Costa, Minister of the Treasury of the Balearic Islands and spokesman for the Government (PP-Vox), on Thursday. The Ministry of Economy, Finance and European Funds of the Regional Government of Andalusia (PP), for its part, positively appreciated the call, but regretted its delay and that the agenda did not include “important issues” such as change . in the system. financing, “outdated and detrimental to the Andalusian community.”

“From this Ministry we are asking for an urgent reform of the financial system, to be carried out multilaterally and with the greatest consensus,” the Ministry said. Meanwhile, the Board will request a temporary leveling fund of 2,146.54 million euros – of which 1,079 are for Andalusia – to compensate for the low resources it receives from the financing system.

Andalusia is one of the worst financed communities – that is, the system distributes less resources than usual – although the territories that suffer are the Valencian Community and Murcia – and , to a lesser extent, Castilla-La Mancha. . Sources from the Valencian Ministry of Finance agree that the priority is to change the system and that they will not go with the red lines of the meeting, as long as it is not suggested that the reform is the product of a bilateral negotiation in a community.

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