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Making amends

Opinió | 22/10/2008

The deficit in investments begins to be corrected

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In the past, Spanish investments in infrastructures in Catalonia have been below its demographic and economic weight (-48%). In the last two years the trend appears to have been corrected. In part this is due to the specific high-speed train and airport projects, but also to the general acceptance of the deficit.

Up to 2013, Catalonia should receive an injection of 35.557 billion euros in infrastructures, according to the calculations taken from the new 2006 Statute of Catalonia. Indeed, in the last few years an improvement has already begun to be noted, in part due to the works of the high-speed train and the expansion of Barcelona airport, but also in part due to the pressure of the legal provisions which appear in the above-mentioned Statute.

The study that the economists Núria Bosch and Marta Espasa have delivered to offers some well-known data: in the period 1991-2008, the state expenditure in infrastructures represented 0.73% of Catalan GDP, while in Spain overall it reached 1.08% of GDP. It was therefore necessary to recover a differential of 48%. It was clear that the investment assignment criteria were not to do with economic efficiency, but rather political.

The authors indicate, as the main new development in the last two years, that the chronic deviation of resources is being amended. If the forecasts are finally confirmed and the expenditure materializes, this will mean that the Catalan view of the problem has been accepted. It will have been recognized that there was a considerable deficit, unrelated to economic principles, and that it was necessary to correct it. The financial agreement contained in the Statute, if the change is really maintained, will be closer to achieving the objectives established.

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