Maria Jesus Montero Minister of Finance and Public Function, took advantage of the holding of the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council to explain that, at least for now, he has not met with Catalonia bilateral to discuss financing for the region.
“There are no bilateral negotiations with Catalonia“, stated the fourth vice president, during the press conference after the meeting of the Council. This is a statement that he also raised during the meeting itself, according to the councilors of the region themselves.
“The adviser (of the Treasury of Catalonia) will express his claim that he wants these meetings to take place, but of course He did not say that there were meetings, at least with the Ministry of Finance” said Montero, stressing that he did not meet “singularly” with the Catalan Government to address the financing.
“I think we can be calm despite the agreement signed by the PSOE and the independents, because the vice president said he wanted it to be recorded in the minutes that they did not have any bilateral negotiations, a something that does not correspond at all to what we saw or to the apparent agreement or to what the Minister of Catalonia told us,” added the Minister of Finance of Madrid, Rocío Albert López-Ibor, at the exit of the meeting.
During the meeting, Montero informed the regions that The deficit target in 2024 for the autonomous communities will be 0.1%, greater spending capacity than projected in the April stability plan (which includes the budget balance).
(CCAA has a record financing of 154,467 million euros in 2024, 15% more than this year)
However, all communities with governments of the Popular Party or where the PP participates voted against this objective, and asked for 0.2%.
It should be noted that the road to stability (that is, the deficit and public debt objectives for the coming years) must be approved by Congress and the Senate as mandated by the Budget Stability Law.
To prevent budget processing, The Popular Party has repeatedly threatened to stop its approval in the Upper House where he enjoyed an absolute majority at Vox.
However, Montero warned that, in doing so, This means for PP to “throw stones at one’s own roof”, or at least against their autonomies. If the stability objectives are not approved by both chambers (there are up to two occasions to do this), the budgets of all public administrations must be made with deficit and debt limits established in April’s fitness program.
(Councils and city councils will receive 28.5 billion in financing by 2024, 22% more)
What does this mean? That, regarding the objectives presented this Monday to the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council, regions and local entities will lose spending capacity because the former should have a deficit of zero and the latter should have a surplus of 0.2% of GDP.
In this way, Montero assured that not only the General State Budgets will not be suspended (which must be adjusted to the new deficit limit), but that regional spending will be limited and that some of them had to revise their budgets to adapt them to the new spending ceiling.
María Jesús Montero confirmed that she has a report from the State Attorney’s Office that confirms these predictions. Because of this, he hopes that the path of stability will overcome the processing of Congress and Senate without any trouble.
A path to stability approved by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday along with the spending ceiling. Some movements that mean the definitive implementation of the preliminary draft of the General State Budgets.
Regarding other issues discussed by the Council, Montero explained that the regions are holding consultations in removes the regional debt incurred by the State after the investiture agreement of the PSOE with the ERC.
In this sense, the fourth vice president made it clear that the implementation of this measure is not a short-term goal. It was announced that the Treasury will meet with the regions starting in January to address this issue.
It should be noted that the goal of the measure is to pay the regions for Red numbers which created the financial crisis 10 years ago. Therefore, the goal is to make it easier for the autonomies to refinance themselves from the markets. ¿The goal? The ability to liquidate unique liquidity mechanisms.
Regardless, Montero recalled that if this regional debt forgiveness is approved, will be made by the Congress of Deputies. In other words, it is not a matter of negotiation between the State and the regions.
He said the same about a possible autonomous financial reform. After many disagreements between regions with the same political sign, he considered that the majority party, PSOE and PP, should manage it.
Because of this, he called Alberto Núñez Feijóo, president of the PP, to join the negotiation table where Pedro Sánchez invited him to discuss it. In other words, it is “a State agreement between PSOE and PP.”
(The unions rejected the SMI increase of 4% as proposed by Díaz and accused him of siding with the employers)
Finally, the fourth vice president rejected that the prices of contracts in the private sector of public administrations can be indexed to the minimum interprofessional wage (SMI) and its increases, one of the conditions set by CEOE for an agreement.
“It makes no sense that the increase in SMI should be at the expense of the administrations. The increase will not be at the expense of the Spanish income,” he said.