“That 21 people have received a salary without employment benefits some (that is, they hit the jackpot without buying a lottery for all these years) is a shame and a discredit of this institution. Up to what level of privileges Are we Catalans willing to endure and remain silent, as if some profit and others pay? These are the correct words of a citizen addressed to El Periódico. We already know what he meant. As another newspaper has said, “The Parliament of Catalonia pays 1.7 million euros a year to officials who no longer work in the Chamber”. A very serious fact of great economic importance that has remained hidden, like so many others, under the tabarra of supposed independence.
It is one more expression of how the Generalitat squanders, or misappropriates?, public funds, which should be at the full service of all citizens. There is more data of said economic waste. A few months ago a prestigious weekly led its publication: “Els vergonyosos sous de la Generalitat”. And it gave specific data on said salaries, from the Government and more or less relevant public positions, practically all of them above 100,000 euros per year. Some of them truly scandalous, such as the 155,570 euros from the President of the Parliament. And among them, that of the President of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat, 117,826 euros. And, thus, a fortnight of positions of diverse public institutions.
And, complementing this outrageous remuneration, later it was known that the Presidency of the Generalitat, the previous year, subsidized various business groups in the media. Among others, that of ElPuntAvui, with 679,784 euros, in addition to lower amounts than written or digital media with a clear pro-independence affiliation, such as El NACIONAL.CAT, with 144,396 euros. Who and when will investigate this waste of public funds, with openly discriminatory purposes?
What is described expresses a bourgeois model of government in the terms already defined by Marx in the Communist Manifesto. How far is the reality described, under the trickery of independence, from a society of free and equal people.
This is confirmed by various data. The vulnerability of a hundred people, in Badalona, who had an abandoned industrial warehouse as their home, treated violently by the Mossos, who seem to have abandoned, at least, the ethical values of their function. The current permanence of dozens of shacks – which takes us back to our post-war years – in Montcada i Reixac where hundreds of people live without institutional support from the Generalitat, which caused the death of two of them due to the abandonment in which they lived. And, other data, which could further strengthen this argument. In Catalonia, one in four people is poor. Severe poverty affects more than 6% of the population. The most affected group, by age, is childhood, where poverty stands at 33%. And, faced with this harsh reality, the calculations carried out show that the richest 20% of people in Catalonia have six times more money than the poorest.
These are the worst figures of the last ten years, a decade marked by the failed independence process and by the cuts initiated by Artur Mas, who boasted of taking them further than any other European country and that none of the subsequent governments has done anything for reverse. Between 2009 and 2019, the governments of Catalonia, while investing -in criminal dimensions- in the process towards breaking with the Spanish democratic state, reduced social spending by 20%. The victims of these austericidal policies have always been older people waiting for surgery, children who lived in homes that could not afford to pay for basic supplies, and false self-employed who were part of the half million workers who already lived below the level of poverty before the pandemic.
Faced with this harsh and unjust reality, the majority of us wish and demand that, sooner rather than later, the objective of the Manifesto be fulfilled: “instead of the old bourgeois society with its classes and its class antagonisms, an association appears in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.