Catalan PP leaders to present new financing plan for region

Proposal aimed at bringing independence drive to a halt Idea to reduce flow of revenues to other parts of Spain

In its bid to stop the drive for independence in the Catalonia region, the Popular Party is due to begin studying a proposal for a new financing scheme.

The draft is to be presented to party chiefs today by the PP's leader in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, who is bitterly opposed to the campaign being run by regional premier Artur Mas to drum up support to hold a status vote next year.

Since the political tensions have flared up between Mas and his supporters and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Sánchez-Camacho has become instrumental in helping the party deal with the crisis. She will take part in today's regular weekly meeting of the PP's top leaders, and has created a group — which is meant to start meeting once a month — to find solutions to the crisis in Catalonia.

According to sources, Sánchez-Camacho's proposal for a new financing scheme is similar to one set up in Germany for distributing revenue among its states. Under her plan, Catalonia would be allowed to use money based on what the central government takes in tax revenues from the region.

Speaking to the Cadena Ser radio station on Monday morning, Sánchez-Camacho explained that while Catalonia cannot have an agreement like the Basque Country, which is able to spend the same amount of revenue that is raised in the region, the aim was inter-regional “solidarity with limits, as the German Länder enjoy.”

One of the biggest issues behind the independence drive — and which is constantly brought up by Mas and his supporters — is that Catalonia does not get its fair share of the money that the central government takes in taxes from its residents and industry.

The Rajoy government is firm in its decision, according to various sources, to prevent Mas from holding a referendum next year. Some in the PP administration believe that coming up with a separate financial scheme for Catalonia would be within the Constitution, pointing to the specifics outlined in LOFCA, the regional financial law, that concern the Canary Islands and the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.


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