“Catalonia doesn’t want to help the poorer parts of Spain”

Some sectors of the Catalan independence movement focus on tax questions and complain that “we pay too much to Madrid.” But the criticism is aimed against the Spanish government and not (except for a small and unrepresentative xenophobic fringe) against the people of Andalusia or Extremadura. In these autonomous communities, GDP per capita is half that of Madrid. This difference has hardly changed over the last 20 years. It is obvious that the taxes collected by the Spanish government don’t get spent on “solidarity”, on investments to bring economic improvements to the poorer regions.

In fact, the groups that block the measures that would improve conditions in Andalusia and Extremadura — agrarian reform, economic development, social justice… — are the same ones that block the right to decide in Catalonia. And the forces that want a real change to the south — such as the Andalusian Workers’ Union, SAT — also support Catalonia’s democratic rights.

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