Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spain, Catalunya, UK and Taxes.

I haven't written about Spain in a while. But, what's to tell? Oh, yes.

The Parlament (nope, that's not a typo, that's how it's spelt in Catalonian) approved, 85 votes against 41, a declaration that the Catalonian people have the right to decide its own sovereignty. The Catalonian left, the Esquerra, voted in favour of it; the local PP (centre-right) and PSC (PSOE local branch) opposed. (See here, Spanish)

This leaves Artur Mas (CiU, also centre-right),  President of the Catalonian Generalit (i.e. state premier) free to call a regional referendum, to be held by the end of 2014.

It also gives Mas/CiU a two-year long honeymoon with the Catalonian people, during which the aim to achieve independence shall override any other considerations in the mind of the collective bride.

And the bride will need something to look forward to in the coming years:
"IMF Warns that 2013 will be Worse to Spain than Just Finished 2013
"The institution downgrades its forecasts and foresee a 1.5% GDP contraction for the current year.
"The recovery shall take place in 2014, with a modest 0.8% growth.
"The IMF believes the financial sector is still too big".
(See here, Spanish)
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In the UK, Tory PM David Cameron (who has little to do with Spain) also promised a referendum, this time on the UK membership in the EU. The referendum should take place in 2017, conditional, of course, on Cameron/Tories being re-elected:
"Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately...  And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next Parliament". (See here, not in Spanish)
These rich, conservative people are so damned clever, subtle and original, aren't they?

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Back to Spain:

Treasurer Cristóbal Montoro (centre-right PP) announced that their fiscal fraud amnesty was a big success.

The amnesty, approved without parliamentary discussion last year, was supposed to collect EUR2.5 billion by means of a 10% "regularization fee" on an estimated EUR25 billion rich Spaniards had deposited overseas without paying taxes for them.

Instead, it collected EUR1.2 billion, over some EUR40 billion, for an effective "regularization fee" of about 3%. A big success, indeed. (See here, you guessed, in Spanish)

Although he was not asked, Luis Bárcenas, former centre-right PP treasurer, would probably agree that the fiscal fraud amnesty was a big success: after all, he may have regularized up to 10 million of the EUR22 million he allegedly had deposited in a Geneva bank.

Bárcenas is currently under judicial enquiries over his also alleged commission of crimes and complicity in the commission of crimes against the public Treasury and money laundering. (See here, you know the drill)

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