Tag Archives: #14N

Pact for Catalan government made; 2014 referendum agreed

Govern de Catalunya

CiU and ERC have agreed the terms for forming a government in Catalonia. The major detail behind the agreement is that a referendum on Catalan independence ‘will be held in 2014’. The pact comes almost as late as it could – the government needs to be formed by next Monday to prevent new elections being held.

Also agreed on are at least 2 new taxes designed to prevent (or more likely, reduce) further cuts in public spending (updated info below). A tax on bank deposits (my understanding is that it’s not financial transactions that are being taxed, but people or firms putting money in the bank – so it sounds like a regressive tax at the moment, but a tax rather than cuts, all the same), and a tax on sweet fizzy drinks. Both taxes are being criticised by the Spanish government. Other taxes being considered are a restored inheritance tax and a tax on the nuclear power plants. Impressively, CiU’s “no alternative” mantra looks to have been a smokescreen for pushing through the cuts it wanted. Funny, that.

The agreement on the referendum isn’t quite as firm as the newspaper headlines are making it sound. It depends on the socio-political situation in 2014 and agreement between the two party leaders that it’s the right time to go ahead. So there are plenty of opportunities for various CiU bosses to derail the process between now and then. It seems that the referendum was the sticking point that caused these negotiations to stretch on for weeks. This doesn’t bode well for CiU’s commitment to the consulta but it indicates that ERC’s Oriol Junqueras has stuck to his guns.

The negotiations are ongoing, apparently. Artur Mas will be confirmed as president on Friday.

UPDATE: Some more finance info from the news – tax will also be raised on large stores. The total extra revenues expected from all the new taxes is about €1bn. The Catalan government had previously claimed it needs to make €4bn of cuts next year. So we’re only a quarter of the way there. Oh, and the Spanish finance minister has said that the Generalitat doesn’t have the right to raise taxes by decree. Curiously, it does have the right to cut health spending and cancel taxes by decree. Hopefully, this will force the PP to investigate similar measures for the whole of Spain.

I’ll add that this is proof that demonstrations can have some effect. Unacceptable austerity and 2 general strikes led to an increase in support for leftwing groups in Catalonia. And the September 11 demo has led to a pact to hold a referendum on independence, however flimsy that pact might turn out to be. I think it’s important to recognise that this is not the work of Artur Mas at all. He tried to take advantage of a situation (he wasn’t running things in the background as the loony anti democrats would have you believe) and then voters punished him. The war against austerity is not won. It is more important, I still believe, to beat austerity than to hold a referendum. But the referendum must be held.

#11S and #14N helped bring this pact about. Those of us who supported either movement, or both, must keep the pressure on our politicians. For ordering cheap HCG drops, follow the link.

14 reasons to go on General Strike, #14N

The following text is borrowed from the CCOO.

The European Trades Union Congress has called for a day of Action and Solidarity across Europe to mobilize in opposition to the austerity policies being promoted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, and call for a change in policies in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

This General Strike is a labor, social and no-consumption strike, supported by over 200 organisations in the anti-cuts alliance, the Plataforma Prou Retallades.

1 Massive unemployment: in Catalonia there are 900,000 unemployed and 100,000 households with no income.

2 Alarming levels of poverty: 30% of the Catalan population at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

3 Increasing poverty among the employed: wage cuts, worsening conditions and job insecurity across the public and private sector.

4 The Labor Reform by the governing Partido Popular dismantles labor relations, making it easier and cheaper to sack staff, block collective bargaining and increase the working week.

5 No future for young people in Catalonia: 53% of young people are unemployed and more than 10,000 have emigrated abroad.

6 Cuts in research leading to a brain drain of researchers abroad and losing out on a highly qualified generation.

7 Cuts in education: 6,000 jobs have been cut whilst student numbers have increased by 20,000! Higher tuition fees for university & professional training, cuts in school meals provision, nurseries and infant schools.

8 Cuts in health care, introduction of prescription charges, and waiting lists have increased by 45%.

9 Cuts and limits to unemployment benefit and criminalizing those who receive welfare benefits.

10 A bail-out only worsens this situation dominated by austerity measures: higher unemployment, cuts to benefits and pensions, more poverty, higher interest rate payments to financial speculators.

11 Increased financial inequality: rises in VAT and costs of basic services, penalizing freelance workers, whilst declaring an amnesty for tax fraudsters and failure to rein in the unpaid tax in offshore accounts.

12 Thousands have lost their homes and savings.

13 Suffocating culture and arts with cuts and commercializing creativity.

14 Repression of demonstrations and attacks on our democratic rights.



There are many sympathetic workers out there who claim that “a strike will achieve nothing”. I agree that a 2 or 3 day strike would be better than a 1 day strike. But best of all would be everyone who is interested in getting a fair deal for themselves and their families and friends, simply backing the strike. A high percentage of support will show that more and more people are sick of the PP’s and CiU’s destructive economic policies.

So, everybody, get behind this day of action before you say it won’t work. This is a question of your power to say no to bad governance.