When Puig met Ra­joy

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - Djones@cb­news.es

By Dave Jones FUND­ING of the Va­len­cia re­gion was top of the agenda when re­gional pres­i­dent Ximo Puig met Prime Min­is­ter Mar­i­ano Ra­joy last week in the Mon­cloa Palace in Madrid.

Sr Puig of­fered up a long list of re­forms which his coali­tion wants to see in­tro­duced to the na­tional sys­tem for fi­nanc­ing Spain’s re­gions.

The cur­rent ar­range­ment pro­vides more money for dis­ad­van­taged re­gions and com­par­a­tively less for oth­ers such as Va­len­cia.

He told Sr Ra­joy that a new model ‘is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary’ for Va­len­cia to be able to of­fer pub­lic ser­vices which are on a par with the na­tional av­er­age.

The re­gional pres­i­dent noted that the front­line ser­vices of ed­u­ca­tion, health­care and so­cial ser­vices had suf­fered the largest cuts due the eco­nomic cri­sis which has af­fected the coun­try since 2008.

Sr Puig said that the sys­tem has to be re­formed to ‘guar­an­tee suf­fi­cient fund­ing’ for the re­gions so they can carry out their obli­ga­tions and func­tions.

“We need a sys­tem which al­lows us to carry out our fun­da­men­tal role, which is main­tain­ing and run­ning the wel­fare state,” he said.

At the same time, Sr Puig said that he was in favour of a ‘great po­lit­i­cal ac­cord’ which would in­clude all po­lit­i­cal par­ties with par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Spain and all the re­gions.

His pro­posal handed to the PM is based on ‘four pil­lars’ – ad­e­quate fi­nan­cial re­sources; equi­lib­rium be­tween the re­gions; fis­cal au­ton­omy; and a ‘shar­ing’ of the pub­lic debt.

Dur­ing the meet­ing Sr Puig also brought up the lack of in­vest­ment by the na­tional gov­ern­ment in Va­len­cia ‘which is lim­it­ing growth in the re­gion’.

He said the tête-à-tête had al­lowed him to ‘open a chan­nel of di­a­logue’ over the state bud­get for 2018.

To this end, he will also be meet­ing min­is­ter for in­fra­struc­ture Íñigo de la Serna in the com­ing weeks to dis­cuss im­por­tant projects such as the Mediter­ranean cor­ri­dor trans­port highway, which in­cludes road and rail links from France to An­dalucía.

Sr Puig thanked the PM for his com­mit­ment to the goal of draw­ing up a new model of re­gional fund­ing.

Mar­i­ano Ra­joy (left) wel­comes Ximo Puig to the Mon­cloa Palace

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