Spain and the Blame Game

As Spain confronts the reality of its economic woes, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate economic fact from political fiction. Last Thursday, Spain’s minister of economy admitted that the 2011 budget deficit had missed the 6% of GDP target by about 2 percentage points and doubted that Spain could comply with the EU-imposed deficit target for 2012. With its debt risk still at high levels, the strategy of the new Spanish government is to shift the blame to the regional governments, like Catalonia, and at the same time use the crisis to grab back the power that was devolved to the regions in the 1980s. Unfortunately, the international media are starting to buy it.

Yet, while it may be true that some Spanish regions have overspent their means, in the case of Catalonia (capital: Barcelona) this is far from the truth.

In the past few years, Catalonia has been incredibly fiscally responsible, despite a no-win financial structure imposed by the country. One of the most productive regions in Spain (contributing 18.7% of Spain’s GDP), it actually pays to the central government a staggering amount more in taxes than it receives from the central government in spending.

Read @ Huff Post World