It is not an isolated piece of information, but a continuing trend that the Generalitat of Catalonia does not seem to have taken note of, as it is involved in raising pulses with the Government and promoting identity policies. Since the pandemic began, Andalusia has surpassed Catalonia in up to eight different months in the number of business creation, according to the INE statistics. April of this year, for example, was a turning point since for the first time in a democracy a community other than Madrid surpasses Catalonia in the birth of companies and mercantile societies. In that month, 2,321 were created in Madrid, another 1,589 in Andalusia, and 1,578 in Catalonia, where the feeling of slowdown and loss of competitiveness persists. It is not only the damage experienced in the last three years by the flight of Catalan companies, fearful of legal insecurity and the uncertainty that the separatist process has generated; it is also that other autonomies have begun a path of exponential growth and have begun to lower Catalonia to a second level, something unprecedented. Andalusia is also the region with the most self-employed workers in Spain, surpassing Catalonia, in June, with 560,000 self-employed workers. And also in Andalusia the rate of job creation in companies registered with Social Security rose between June 2020 and the same month of 2021 by 7 percent -equivalent to 135,852 people-, a percentage much higher than 4.9 per percent of the country as a whole.
The political change experienced in Andalusia with the arrival of the PP and Citizens Government, after unseating a PSOE with 36 years of uninterrupted mandate, is worthy of praise. Its economic activity has multiplied and the perception is growing that it has ceased to be that eternal farmhouse of captive votes that the PSOE managed on a whim, weaving clientelistic networks based on cronyism. That is precisely what competitiveness consists of, in creating the ideal conditions for companies to have administrative facilities, tax advantages and promotion from the public powers, because these are the bases on which to later support the net creation of employment. The figures do not lie: the year-on-year evolution of business creation has stagnated in Catalonia while in Andalusia it is already shooting into double digits.
Catalonia no longer has to exercise its victimhood only against Madrid. And the Government of Pedro Sánchez has no reason to attack only the Madrid community, feeding the hoax that it is a ‘tax haven’ where dumping is free. They can now also include Andalusia among their objectives. However, it is not about making too many political interpretations about the management that one and the other do because money lacks ideology. Rather, it is a matter of objectively verifying that when a community, in the legitimate use of its autonomic prerogatives and concessions, manages to lower taxes, pay attention to private initiative, and firmly believe in the free market, it not only manages to stabilize its economy in question of months, but to reverse a suicidal tendency that weighed down the Andalusians for almost four decades. And also, with apparent electoral profitability, since the polls have begun to attribute a sufficient majority to the PP – either together with Vox, or together with Ciudadanos – if elections were held today. Catalonia has a management problem and another much more serious one of credibility, and as long as it does not shed its separatist compulsion, its comeback will be much more difficult.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism