MADRID | The Corner | They keep coming and, more important, they spend more money, which adds to the recovery. Foreign tourists visiting Spain spent €2.63 billion in the first semester, a 7.8% more than in the same period of 2013, according to official data. British citizens are the biggest spenders, followed by the Germans. Tourism is a crucial sector of Spanish economy, accounting for more of 10% of GDP.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Ubaneja | Several corruption cases have put Spain under the international spotlight. The latest, which emerged by surprise on Friday and has been the talk of the town since then, is related to one its most controversial and rich regions: Catalonia. The independence campaign suffered a setback after the leading figure of Catalan nationalism Jordi Pujol admitted keeping undeclared funds in fiscal havens.
MADRID | By J.P. Marín Arrese | Spanish Finance Ministry published on Thursday a regional breakdown of public income and expenses, aimed at rebuking unfair fiscal claims from Catalonia’s regional government. The move comes a few days before its chairman, Artur Mas, meets Prime Minister Rajoy in a last ditch attempt to defuse the current rift over self-rule. It has already being hotly contested by Mr Mas, as an open challenge to his core request for better budgetary treatment. It will hardly contribute to a favourable climate before that key meeting by closing the door to any face-saving outcome based on buying time in exchange of extra money.
MADRID | By J. P. Marín Arrese | Water and power supply would be secured should Catalonia become an independent nation. That’s the only reassuring conclusion the economic think tank set up by the regional government has recently reached. On handling monetary and financial issues, it points to severe problems ahead.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | Catalonia government has put a date (November 9, 2014) to a secessionist referendum. The independence movement has overcome another obstacle to approach its final goal. Those who argue they are tactical moves to modify the financial model are running out of arguments, for this is something much more important that affects Spain. Its consequences are unpredictable, and catastrophic from any point of view. [Video: Euronews]
There is a mirroring effect in all these conflicts: Europeans appear unable to talk about the actual issues that trouble them, that is, debt and democracy.
MADRID | The Spanish government has suddenly disappeared from Europe’s scene. In the midst of a deep recession it crosses fingers hoping the German general elections’ aftermath might break the current deadlock on financial mutualisation and help to reconstitute the Southern front.
MADRID | Catalonia’s economy might head for rough times as investors flee from political uncertainty and the danger extremists might take over. CiU leader Artur Mas is heading for disaster.
The region is determined to be recognised, and treated, as a nation. Sadly, Catalans appear incapable of shouldering the bill that comes attached to it.
How much does ‘different identity’ account in fiscal transfers between regions and their central government? Catalan president Artur Mas mixes tax data with sentimental issues and accusations of mistreatment, says Fernando G. Urbaneja, so a necessary dialogue becomes unnecessarily difficult.