Thursday, July 29

Ximo Puig’s “Backbone Spain”: Equitable Regional Financing and Decentralization of State Agencies


A crack that does not close runs the risk of generating a failure. A wound that is not sutured increases the risk of infection. For the gaps that fracture Spain to begin to close, government institutions must begin to implement measures to correct inequality, a bandage that prevents them from continuing to expand.

Ximo Puig: “The reform of the financing system is urgent, essential and inalienable”

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Although democracy corrected some structural deficits – legal equality between Spaniards, between men and women, universal access to education – the contemporary state still needs to face a good number of challenges. “Nations are formed and live by having a program for tomorrow,” announced this Wednesday the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, at a forum in Madrid, collecting Ortega’s reflections. From the diagnosis of Invertebrate Spain of the philosopher, the socialist leader proposed his measures for “structured Spain”.

The regional president, who has deployed the federalist agenda in recent weeks, considers it urgent to address the territorial fit in the State. The socialist baron is concerned about the effects of the Catalan independence process, the secession of the economic elites or the capital effect of Madrid, which isolates the region from the rest of the autonomies and has developed a business and bureaucratic macrocephaly that makes the vertebrae of the rest of autonomies suffer.

Centralism is “inefficient” but, in Puig’s eyes, it is also unsupportive. The Community of Madrid has more public officials than affiliated with Social Security in other provinces, indicates the Valencian leader, who calls for correction measures such as the decentralization of State agencies, in line with other European models to move towards “polycentric Spain” . Also in infrastructures, the radio model is not very “rational”, which is why it advocates promoting the Mediterranean Corridor and working on an interconnected communications network.

Income inequalities between territories are an urgent matter for Puig, who claims for the umpteenth time the reform of the financing system, expired since 2014, which leaves its autonomy to the tail of the State and forces a greater effort to guarantee public services basic. The new model is “unavoidable, essential and inalienable”, as are corrective measures for fiscal inequality; the “dumping” that the capital exerts on other autonomies, with a policy of subsidized taxes on large companies and assets that cause a vacuum effect in the distribution of income.

In the same way, the degree of centralism that draws an idea of ​​a monolithic and immovable country and ignores territorial diversity is “insulting”: “The reductionism of what a country is is insulting (…) the risk of disconnection and atomization it’s real, “denounced Puig. The socialist proposes to combat depopulation, repopulate emptied Spain, with financial support for companies that fix population, avoid bank exclusion, apply tax deductions or take advantage of European funds for digitization and boost the productive fabric.

Regarding the relations of the State with the autonomies, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana considers that the pandemic has left “lessons of co-governance” that should last, such as the conferences of regional presidents – he proposes a semiannual meeting -, regulate sector conferences or reform Senate to be a House of territorial representation. The agenda is clear: “Increase resources to finance the Welfare State and redistribute more equitably.”



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