Smoke and mirrors: how regional finances complicate Spanish-Catalan relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between the form of fiscal decentralization in Spain and the rise in tensions between the Spanish and Catalan governments during the financial crisis, in particular from mid 2010 to mid 2013. As a profound budgetary crisis unfolded at regional government level in Spain, longstanding disputes over the regional financing system and its methods of redistribution among the seventeen autonomous communities escalated. Most notably, Catalonia, one of the most indebted regions, attributed its financial woes in part to over-redistribution. This is not a straightforward connection, but the lack of clarity regarding both the workings of the regional financing system and the causes of the regions’ varying levels of fiscal (in)compliance reduced accountability and fuelled disputes among central and regional governments, giving both sides scope to offer different interpretations. The smoke and mirrors regarding regional finances combined with the nature of intergovernmental dynamics in Spain contribute to explaining the persistent inability to resolve regional fiscal problems and agree a long-lasting reform of the regional financing system.
LanguageEnglish
Pages21-42
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Iberian Studies
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

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finance
Spain
redistribution
financial crisis
decentralization
reform
responsibility
interpretation
cause
lack
community
Finance
Financing
Government
Catalonia
Redistribution
Dispute

Keywords

  • Spain
  • Catalonia
  • autonomous communities
  • fiscal decentralization
  • financial crisis
  • political economy
  • nationalism

Cite this

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Smoke and mirrors: how regional finances complicate Spanish-Catalan relations. / Gray, Caroline.

Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.03.2014, p. 21-42.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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