Europe Needs to Help Catalonia

Budget cuts are spreading all over Europe. In the United Kingdom, dozens of public services have ceased to exist. Six thousand girls and boys from Northern Ireland with severe disabilities, many of them unable to speak, have lost their music therapy because the Music Therapy Trust lost its budget. Almost 1 in 5 English councils have cut services for deaf children. NHS cuts and public sector cuts are causing anger in the UK, but the cuts coincide with funds going to other regions with budget surpluses. Ireland approved a budget with savings of €3.8 billion, with €1 billion in spending cuts. France just unveiled a €12 billion austerity plan. On the other hand, there are two exceptions in Spain: Andalusia and Extremadura.

The autonomous region of Andalusia is the biggest in Spain in terms of area and population—with 17% of all the votes in Spain. Spanish political parties give this region big benefits in order to obtain their juicy votes. As a result, Andalusia has no budget cuts. In fact, the Andalusian government is one of the few EU regions with a budget surplus! The 2012 budget increased by 1.1%. By comparison, the Catalan budget suffered a decrease of 10%.

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