Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stand and deliver

A couple of years ago, I came across a 1852 map from Torres Villegas splitting Spain in 4 different groupings:

· Uniform or Purely Constitutional Spain which comprises these thirty-four Provinces of the Crowns of Castile and Leon, equal in all economic, judicial, military, and civil branches. Former kingdoms of Castile, León and Granada.

· Incorporated or Assimilated Spain which comprises the eleven provinces of the Crown of Aragon, still different in the manner of contribution and in some points of private law. Crown of Aragon

· "Spain of the Fueros", or approximately "Statutory Spain".Kingdom of Navarre (actual Basque country was part of Kingdom of Navarre)

· Colonial Spain

I saved the picture in my “pictures to be used file”. I was convinced that if one day, the inter-regional fiscal balances were published, mapping the net balances to the map would be very revealing. And you can now check the result by yourself. The incorporated Spain has a revenue outflow of 23,100 billion Euro, the Statutory Spain is basically neutral and all the Uniform Spain gets a subsidy of 12,500 million Euro, not taking into consideration the additional inflow from the European Union. I think that voluntary solidarity is a good thing, but this is a ROBBERY, and if at least, there were any signs of thankfulness, if when we travel to the rest of Spain people would come and hug or kiss us, I would maybe feel that it is worth the while, even if this unconditional transfer is perpetuating some habits that will make the situation permanent, but the reality is that, when traveling in Spain, we get insulted (called polacos or catalufos) and our cars get vandalized, our products get boycotted and our language treated with no respect.

In the meantime, Catalonia's infrastructure is crumpling, the Mediterranean corridor high speed train is still years from completion (but you can go take it now to go from Valladolid to Bollullos del Condado), we need to pay toll in most of the highways, we still continue to pay inheritance tax and even worse, the Barcelona industrial belt, which requires heavy investment in infrastructures, education, healthcare and neighborhood amenity upgrades, is totally underfunded, unable to absorb the old and the new immigration and turning into a potential social disaster. In addition to that one Extremaduran Euro is only worth 62 cents in Barcelona due to the cost of living differential and let’s not forget that in Extremadura 25% of the workforce are public servants, versus only 8% in Catalonia (too many in my opinion).

The result would be even more skewed if we corrected Madrid's capitality effect (if Madrid were not the capital, it would have the same economy as Guadalajara). Despite the fact that Madrid is a net contributor, mainly because of its status of capital of Spain, it cannot offset the huge deficit that its surrounding provinces generate.

Finally, the analysis of the inter-regional fiscal balances shows that the idea of the Catalan Countries, that I like to call Valeària to avoid unnecessary sensitivities, makes a lot of sense, not only from the linguistic or cultural side, but also from the economical point of view.

Note: I have taken one of the methodologies proposed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy. All the methods yield to the same conclusion, although this methodology is one of the most extreme ones. Click here to see the full report.


Nuri said...

Just how wrong does "Assimilated Spain" sound?

Garci said...


Exactly how many people do you pretend to convince if you don't put special attention on the lies you pronounce? do you know how easy it is to check how many high speed trains go through Soria? If this concept is not true, how many more checks do I have to do in order to know what of what you say is true and what is a lie? unfortunately, by putting lies among middle trues, you expect that these lies will percolate. And unfortunately, I think you will succeed, adding more lies to the nationalistic lie. Shame on you, Ian, shame on you.

Javi, still waiting that the Catalan government publishes the fiscal balances in the Catalan municipalities..

Garci said...

By the way, reading the tone of your messages now, I see how well you have been deceiving people, including myself, with all your bullshit about the non-orthodox nationalism. As usual, like all nationalists, you say something, but sometimes your own ego betrays you to reveal what you really are. So, Ian, if what you wanted was to have a clean, full suscription to your blog by people who think exactly like you, you won once again, because since now, due to the unfairness (and clear ultraorthodoxy) of your blog, I'm not writing here anymore.


ian llorens said...

Garci, you must be from Soria, nice place by the way.
I changed Soria by Valladolid, to keep the record straight and make sure that all the statements are auditable.
Hard truths are sometimes difficult to swallow. I will not hold your nasty comments against you.

ian llorens said...

And by the way, I write what I want to write, not what my readers want to see me writing. There are plenty of blogs in the blogosphere that will benefit from your comments.
Good luck with your endeavors.

Nuri said...

I cannot comment about the tax collection because I know nothing about economy.
The only thing I have to say about that is, solidarity with poorer regions is good, but the point remains that if those poorer regions end up having more benefits than the richer regions who gave them the money, something's obviously not well distributed. In a fair solidary system, both Extremadura and Catalonia qould have the same benefits. No more, no less.
It's like, you don't shower with cold water because you gave your heater to the poor.

That said, Garci, I hope you reconsider your goodbyes. It's been very enriching having your constrasting opinions on this blog.

Roger said...

Shocking news!
Garci leaves in a huff, offended at the audacity of Catalans to request and publish (God forbid!) some transparency in the financial transfers within Spain. I guess, the 19th century map was the last straw.

I guess it must be really difficult to defend the indefensible and that the truth must hurt…

Anonymous said...

"incorporated or assimilated Spain?" you must be on LSD mate. No matter what, the fact is: you are wasting your time. You can write all the bullshit you wish, the fact remains: 1- Citizens are the ones that pay taxes NOT the territories and 2- Citizens that earn more pay ( wait for it...) MORE. You see, you could have saved yourself some time and just write these 2 very simple points which by the way are the basis for tax collection throughout Spain and to clarify the all important point: the money collected gets redistributed throughout Spain by a very fair system which gives MORE to people that NEEDS more, this is called: SOLIDARITY.
Finally, I'm Catalan and I'm very happy indeed that the taxes that I pay go to help people in other less wealthy areas, but come think of it, I am impervious to political manipulation and indoctrination by the rotten totalitarian political rulers of Catalunya. Do you really believe that you would be "someone" in their feudal invented nation? Open your eyes son, they are the same bourgeois families that have starved this land of freedom for centuries; an elite of manipulators only interested in THEIR financial benefit and political power to obtain it.

Jack said...

Ian's calculus posted in his blog is intentionally misleading: After subtracting the charges, Catalonia's GDP per capita is still appr. 36k Euros, while in Andalusia, Castile-Leon and Castile-LaMancha it's lingering around 25k, 31k and 26k Euros after adding all solidarity payments.


1) Catalonia still keeps most of its money.

2) The whole victimist bullshit story about "Spain robbing Catalonia" is a hypocrite and false fairy-tale.

3) Catalonia's fiscal deficit is rather caused by their own sloppy politicians and by dubbing too many porn-movies into Catalan.

nuri: Don't believe everything you read in this blog. Ian is a politician. And politicians maybe they don't really lie, but they don't tell the full truth either. And please, don't feel bad from now on when taking a hot shower in Segovia. In Gerona, they are washing their dogs in Jacuzzis.

ian llorens said...

In this post I tackled one of the causes of Catalonia's financing shortcomings: an unfair, unaudited transfer of funds to other parts of the country, which, in turn, do not even want to acknowledge it.

I agree with Jack, however, that this is not the only reason and that the other two causes are internal:
- Inept and often dishonest Catalan politicians
- Inefficient use of the funds that stay in the principality (it would be a great opportunity to spread the knowledge of English in Catalonia through porno movies in original version, for instance).

It is also true that the rest of Spain has similar issues, if not worse, but this should not be an excuse. We should be the most efficient and the most honest, an impossible mission with people like Carod in our government.

Goint back to this post, it simply proves that, despite the obstinate refusal to admit that Catalonia is funding other parts of the country, it really does and it gets no credit for it, just critics and that a fairer distribution of the taxes would provide the needed resources to Catalonia. That's it (plus some provoking wording).

I am not a communist, I am not a socialist, I am for a small government, for lower taxes, for the private sector to take the lead. I am not for a welfare society (café para todos), although I do believe that the government should provide a safety net for the needy (children, the sick, the old and the abused), but no welfare for those who can work and simply do not want.
The current financial flow does not improve the situation in the long term, just allows the current governments to get reelected in the next election until the bomb explodes. And when will it explode? When the current Spanish model is exported to Europe and the money flows then to Rumania, Turkey, Bulgaria, etc. Pls. go back to my political fable 2024 to understand what I mean.

And since when telling the truth is victimism? You can make the same calculations as I did, you just need to export the data to excel and play around. The tables, the graphs and the map tell the truth, a truth that never before was transparent and therefore left a lot of room for speculation.

It is really amazing to see the reaction of the old Castile and Leon, they themselves a historical example of lack of solidarity that one can summarize with a clause taken from Isabella of Castile's testament:

"26.- Otrosi, por quanto las Yslas e Tierra Firme del Mar Océano e yslas de Canaria fueron descubiertase conquistadas a costa destos mis reynos e con los naturales dellos e or esto es razon quel trato e provecho dellas se aya e trate e negoçie destos mis reynos de Castilla e Leon e en ellos e a ellos venga todo lo que de alla se traxiere. Por ende, ordeno y mando que asi se cumpla asi en las que fasta aquí son descubiertas, como en las que se descubrieren de aquí adelante
e no en otra parte alguna."

Isabella I of Castile, 1504

It is amazing. Nothing has changed in 500 years.

Jack said...

Ian: Who in Spain does not admit, that Catalonia is giving part of its GDP to install computers in school rooms in other parts of Spain?

That is not true and not the problem, either.

The problem is that some Catalan politicians (and bloggers) want to make the world believe, the rest of Spain is stealing Catalonia's savings leaving them nothing.

It's a clever way to draw off the attention of the own incompetence: Blame the neighbour.

ian llorens said...

Some examples (unfortunately I could not find the jacuzzi for cats in Girona):

Dental coverage for children

Sanidad se propone pagar el dentista a todos los niños de entre 7 y 15 años
Actualizado lunes 10/09/2007 18:58


MADRID.- El Ministerio de Sanidad va a financiar un programa para lograr que todos los niños españoles de entre siete y 15 años reciban en el sistema público la misma atención dental con independencia de la comunidad autónoma en la que vivan.

El proyecto se llama Plan de Salud Bucodental y será planteado por el ministro Bernat Soria a los consejeros de las 17 comunidades autónomas en octubre. El Plan pretende garantizar prestaciones que van desde las limpiezas de boca, los sellados de fisuras o los empastes hasta las extracciones y las revisiones periódicas.

Si los gobiernos regionales aceptan la propuesta, los cálculos del Ministerio hablan de que en 2008 podrían recibir atención bucodental 850.000 niños. Cuando el programa esté completamente desarrollado, en 2012, los menores beneficiarios rondarían los cuatro millones de entre siete y 15 años.

La asistencia bucodental en España es muy desigual por territorios. País Vasco, Navarra y Andalucía ya ofrecen prestaciones parecidas a las que propone Soria. Murcia y Baleares poseen programas similares, pero no están tan desarrollados. Otras cinco comunidades, Aragón, Cantabria, Extremadura, Castilla y León y Castilla-La Mancha, tienen regulado esas atenciones, aunque con servicios que no se acercan a la propuesta del Ministerio.

Inheritance tax
Desde 2003 en el País Vasco y Navarra, no se tributa nada al heredar. Las comunidades de Cantabria y Madrid aprueban bonificaciones en la cuota de Donaciones del 99%, a las que siguen otras en relación a Sucesiones. A estas comunidades le siguen Valencia, Castilla-León, etc.
Los empresarios catalanes piden al presidente Montilla “valentía” para suprimir el impuesto y manifiestan que “el principio de igualdad de los ciudadanos está por encima de la capacidad de legislar de las comunidades autónomas”.
La Generalitat está preocupada por la baja de recaudación que supone la eliminación, parcial o total, del impuesto.

(CHECK TODAY's newspapers)
Free medicines for babies
Europa Press | Actualizado 22.07.2008 - 18:13

El Consejo de Gobierno de la Junta de Andalucía aprobó el decreto que garantiza a los niños menores de un año el acceso gratuito a los medicamentos y productos sanitarios prescritos por sus médicos, una medida que beneficiará a unas 95.000 familias andaluzas que actualmente tienen hijos menores de un año y que comenzará a aplicarse a partir del próximo mes de agosto.

Rab said...


Anonymous said...

por cierto cateto este mapa esta manipulado, si pones en google, el nombre del autor podras leer las criticas que en el año 1998 desperto la publicacion de esta mapa que esta manipulado, ademas de ser un mapa privado, nunca publico. te informo que españa se dividio en provincias en 1833 con un rd y que hasta la republica no hubo ningun atisbo de autonomia o como lo quieras llamar. hay que estudiar y tener menos adoctrinamiento, ten tus opiniones pero con rigor.

murga said...


Sin querer ofender a nadie por no escribir en inglés.

Si empezamos a hablar de historia y nos remitimos a edictos de los Reyes Católicos, es que no hemos aprendido nada, y mucho menos puedes puedes definirte con la benevolencia con la que lo haces en tu blog.La etapa del Imperio Español tuvo su aquel, pero no veo a nadie en Italia pidiendo perdón por el Imperio Romano, ni mucho menos en Grecia.Lo que pasó, pasó.Aquí se decidió tirar "palante" después de una de las etapas más bochornosas de nuestra historia.Y lo que pasó, pasó.

Ahora, el problema se plantea desde la línea en que en el reparto, plenamente decidido por todas las partes, nunca es suficiente y se muestran suspicacias por los beneficios a que puedan aspirar otras Comunidades Autónomas.

Esto siempre ha existido y siempre existirá, y veo bien que los políticos se peguen por estas cosas, al fin y al cabo les hemos votado para que defiendan nuestros intereses.Otra cosa es faltar el respeto o manipular al personal diciendo que en ciertas comunidades se permiten con sus presupuestos hacer "tal o cual".

Pues bien, hay competencias que están transferidas a las CCAA y ellas deciden lo que hacer con esas competencias.No veo nada malo en que en Navarra o en País Vasco se haya eliminado el Impuesto de Sucesiones, así como que en Andalucía se decida dar gratuitamente medicinas a los niños,.....

La política es compleja y podemos criticarla, pero nunca debemos de intentar manipular, sobre todo cuando se está dentro de la legalidad.

Un saludo.

ian llorens said...

I do not care whether the map was public or private or which was the intention of its author.
I used it because it fits the message I am trying to bring across.

ian llorens said...

Anonymous #2:
"la legalidad actual" sucks

From El Pais. ALEJANDRO BOLAÑOS - Madrid - 10/08/2008:


Ahora, con los ingresos tributarios que reserva el sistema a las comunidades, Cataluña es la tercera comunidad en financiación por habitante, pero tras la redistribución de dinero y la compensación con fondos estatales pasa a ser la décima.

Mr. Moore said...

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,
galloping through the sward,
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,
and his horse Concorde.
He steals from the rich,
he gives to the poor,
Mr Moore, Mr Moore, Mr Moore.
dum dum dum...

*** ***
i do not know why... the ultra-conservatives, almost-fascists catalanistic blogs are exactly the same...: the same reasonings(?) , and the same xenophobic speech...

but this is a little bit different from the other ones: it is in english

:) congratulations.


Rab said...

"Mr Moore" exemplifies the typical reply from the Catalonophobes whose only argument is their profound hatred towards anything that benefits Catalonia. No arguments, no reply, no data, no concepts and no substance: abusive language and cheap insults.

As I keep saying, “Ladran luego cabalgamos”.

Keep it on Iain, you and many others are doing a great job.

Mr. Moore. said...

hola, rab, ían, y demás burgueses neocons: aquí los únicos que ladráis (con unos ladridos que dan miedo), sois vosotros. los que destiláis (por lo que leo en los post) una xenofobia y un odio intolerable hacia Madrid, Soria, Valladolid, Extremadura... a cuyos ciudadanos véis como "malvados", extraños o que os roban vuestra felicidad...

Qué triste tiene que ser eso de ser tan arrogante como para creerse que el resto de España debe su felicidad a mi trabajo y a mis impuestos, y no a los que ellos pagan , y al sudor que cae de su frente. como para sentir más cercano a ti a un ricacho sinvergüenza de tu terruño, que a un pobre de la comunidad de al lado. Como para justificar el asignar derechos a entes como las lenguas o los territorios para despojar a cambio de los mismos a los ciudadanos...

En fin, todas esas salvajadas, dobles raseros y privilegios que justificáis sin más, no sé por qué razón, si se refieren a vuestra bandera y a vuestra tierra, que los no-nacionalistas no justificaríamos nunca refiriéndose a ninguna bandera o país.

Pueden tenerse vuestras ideas ultraconservadoras, los privilegios, las asimetrías, etc. no digo que no, en democracia todo es defendible (también el PP defiende cosas injustas y absurdas, como las teorías conspiratorias, la moral católica y demás...), pero sin que las asista la razón, la verdad, ni la justicia.

o lo uno o lo otro. todo no se puede.

Ah, repetir las mismas mentiras xenófobas y etnicistas, los mismos prejuicios que en larga letanía expone siempre la monocolor clase política catalana... lo siento, eso no es argumentar...

y sí, ladráis y también cabalgáis. de eso no hay duda, pero, ¿hacia dónde?

En fin, una pena que haya tantos jóvenes tan conservadores...

A lo mejor un día salís de la aldea de Lérida y conocéis a algún colega gallego, u os echáis una novia riojana , y comprobáis que el resto de españoles, aunque quizá no insuflados con la especial Gracia Divina con la que están ungidos los catalanes nacionalistas desde el instante mismo en que nacen, también molan. Y recapacitáis un poco (al fin y al cabo sois jóvenes, vuestro cerebro posee aún plasticidad), y se os van algunos de esos prejuicios mussolinianos.


Pd.- Perdón por escribir en el idioma de las clases bajas (tontas criadas, apestosos obreros y demás). Uno es reponedor de supermercado, así que habla en el odioso idioma español...

ian llorens said...

Before the civil war, my grandfather had the job that you claim to have. He went back to Barcelona in 1942, after spending almost 5 years in a labor camp in Cuenca. His only crime, being a soldier fighting for the republic and, in addition to that, a Catalan. He was not allowed to return to his job, since the wet markets belonged to the Franco controlled city hall and was blacklisted because of his past (a large portion of the Llorens family had to migrate to France). My grandparents struggled, going from odd job to odd job. My father worked since he was 9 and full time since he was 14. My father worked hard 2 or 3 jobs at the same time and finally he was able to get a university degree when he was 35. My life was much easier, I was raised as a middle class child, no luxuries, but a comfortable life, 2 months vacation at the Costa Brava with mom and sis.

Your rant shows first that you have not read my articles, maybe only this one, and second that you do not understand my attitude towards politics and society.

The current financing system in Spain is unfair and it has to be changed. This has been acknowledged even by Solbes.

I want Catalonia to be the leading territory in Europe. This will only be possible if we are able to control the way the money is spent in Catalonia and how the solidarity funds are used. It is totally unfair that Catalonia per capita income goes from number 3 before the tax redistribution to number 10 after the tax redistribution. It is unacceptable.

I fight for a just cause and I will not be intimidated by anyone, and even less by people who do not even take the time to understand my position.

And I do not need a girlfriend from La Rioja, I have a Chinese wife I adore.

Rab said...

What a reply by Mr Moore. There is nothing more revealing than someone’s choice of wording. All the resentment, the hatred, the ignorance comes out if full swing.

Mr Moore describes me and Iain as “burgueses neocons”. Iain has put forward his reply, so I will volunteer mine.

Dear Mr Moore: my father is a Spanish immigrant from La La Mancha who stopped going to school when he was aged 9. At that time, he was old enough to look after the sheep. My dad emigrated to Catalonia in search of a better life, which he found in the building trade as a bricklayer. My dad cannot write a letter and has difficulty reading. My dad is still working as a bricklayer aged 63. Only 18 months before he can retire. My mum mopes floors in a hospital in Barcelona. Neither of them speak Catalan fluently and my dad struggles to understand it even after 40 years in Catalonia. To call me “neocon burgueouise” is just the most ridiculous thing ever. Why do you call us that? Because we write in English. If that’s the case, you are in need of help.

I don’t hate anybody from Spain, apart from fascists and Franco apologists. Both my parents emigrated to Catalonia, so your argument that I hate people from Madrid, Extremadura, etc is pure nonsense: I have cousins spread throughout Spain and many good friends from all over.

You describe yourself as a non-nationalist. Let me tell you boy that you are a Spanish-nationalist right enough. It comes across in your writing, using the language and the imaginary of Libertad Digital.

Your accusation of being xenophobic and etnicists again shows how ignorant you are. We Catalans are the most bastardised nation in Europe. There is no ethnicity to being Catalan, only a desire to see Catalonia prosper without external interference. There are Catalans from all parts of the world, races and creeds. Catalonia is an example of integration: respect our culture, and try to speak our language, helps us prosper and you are one of us.

Read this Mr Moore: I have lived in the UK, in Scotland, for almost 10 years. Don’t patronise me with your “see the world” crap. I work with people of all continents, races and creeds. I travel around Europe often for work or pleasure. When I left Catalonia, or Spain if you prefer, I was not pro-independence; I would have been happy with a federal state. It is living abroad and seeing the effect the policies pursued by the Spanish state, and the inability of the Spanish state to accommodate Catalonia in any meaningful way that has made me a pro-independence supporter. Spending time in Belgium and Switzerland, or in the Baltic republics, has made me a supporter of Catalan independence. I am no nationalist. I don’t believe that one nation is better than another. But I do believe that nations should be allowed to choose their future without the threat of violence and impositions from a master. It is called self-determination, it is a democratic thing.

I think that the only one with a worrying prejudice is you Mr Moore. We are just trying to ensure the survival, cultural, economical and political, of Catalonia. Why are you so keen to stop us?

PS: I don’t have a girlfriend from Extremadura, I have a lovely Scottish girlfriend I adore. You see, there is life, and hope, outside Spain.

Anonymous said...

Mr Moore (haha). Your post just reflects the inhability of (a lot of) spanish people to understand Catalonia or anything at all. This is the left wing point of view (a mix of marxism and spanish nationalism). For them Catalonia is just made of catalan right wing conservative burgeoisie + poor left wing spanish inmigrants. The burgeoisie exploited the inmigrants that made big Catalonia and blablabla. So if someone feels Catalan and/or independentist 1)Is a burgeois, "pijo"(posh) would say nowadays, or 2) is a brainwhased inmigrant. Forgeting: 1) All the catalans that are not burgeois (99.9%of them), the inmigrants that after living there for 30,40,50 years, growing their families and working feel the country as their own.

Agus said...

Rafa Nadal pays his taxes in Euskadi (a huge contributing to the fiscal deficit, ha ha ha).

Sorry, guys. Didn't have time to translate it.

La revista Interviú ha elaborat un reportatge on assegura que Rafael Nadal "paga els seus impostos a Euskadi". En aquesta informació s'afirma que "aquesta temporada ha guanyat més de sis milions de dòlars en premis. A això cal sumar els suculents contractes de publicitat. Un cabdal de diner gestionat per la seva família i que deriva al País Basc. Allà les seves empreses tenen millors avantatges fiscals. Darrere de vàries societats interposades, el tennista inverteix en terrenys, locals i negocis. Els seus assessors han previst fins i tot la seva possible retirada, pensada per al 2016".

"L'esportista (Rafa Nadal) té un milionari patrimoni a través de vàries societats domiciliades a Guipúscoa, i en les que apareix com a administrador Sebastià Nadal. El pare de l'esportista s'encarrega de controlar els assumptes extraesportius del seu fill al costat del seu mànager, l'extennista Carles Costa, de la multinacional IMG", s'explica en l'article. Interviú afirma que "la província de Guipúscoa té avantatges fiscals en l'impost de societats respecte a d'altres zones d'Espanya com les Illes Balears. A més, les empreses en general desgraven més que a la resta del país -fins a un 47 per cent-, en les seves col·laboracions amb fundacions i institucions esportives".

LUIS said...

To Agus about:
"Rafa Nadal pays his taxes in Euskadi (a huge contributing to the fiscal deficit, ha ha ha)."

I have seen you have a bit antipathy to Nadal. Good for him if he pay his taxes in Euskadi. It´s good for Spain even this taxes are not spread all over Spain but just in Basque Country because I think that good for Basque Country is good for Spain (and so and so the same in all territories), anyway if not so it would be Balears not Catalonia where he should had selected to pay.
I think that you (Agus) prefer cases like sanchez-vicario family that prefers send their money to Andorra before than to Catalonia, (And I suppose they are not the only catalonian sportsmen than do that even if they are pro-catalonian sport federations supporters).

(sorry about my bad english).