Friday, April 16, 2021
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Roberto's business and goats

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Jaume Reixach. Journalist

Catalunya drags a disgrace behind it: the dire solvency and professional competence of the government headed by Artur Mas, which has led the Government to ruin. The Catalan government debt, despite the savage cuts in social services which have been perpetrated over the last four years, has reached its historical limit, 65.179 million Euros, and the "snowball" is growing.

Catalunya drags a disgrace behind it: the dire solvency and professional competence of the government headed by Artur Mas, which has led the Government to ruin. The Catalan government debt, despite the savage cuts in social services which have been perpetrated over the last four years, has reached its historical limit, 65.179 million Euros, and the "snowball" is growing.

The "chief engineer" of public finances of the Generalitat is an academic laureate, Professor Andreu Mas-Colell. Since the seventies, his extensive "resume" places him in the prestigious American universities of Minnesota, Berkeley and Harvard. However, his critics -of which are legions in the academic world- point out a key fact: his specialisation is microeconomics, and the book he co-authored "Microeconomic Theory" is well known.

Collection of failures

From giving classes at a university on microeconomic theory to the everyday reality of the management of public finances of an administration is an abyss, and Andreu Mas-Colell has been unable to cross it. After four years in office, his career as head of the Ministry of Economy and Knowledge of the Government is, purely and simply, a complete failure.

The initiatives he has taken are counted as disappointments: the abrupt closure of the airline Spanair, the "fright" of Enrique Banuelos in the BCN World's flagship project, the "sting" of regional lotteries and, uniquely, La Grossa, conceived to be in competition to the Christmas Lottery, etc. His "brilliant" contribution to economic management of the Government is straight from the "good neoliberal" manual: cuts in social budget allocation, take an axe to civil servants' purchasing power, unbearable arrears to suppliers and selling 'Grandma's Jewellery ". Yes, but using soft loans galore provided by the reviled Spanish Government through the mechanism of the Regional Liquidity Fund (FLA).

The Generalitat is a building site

If Andreu Mas-Colell retains the post of Minister of Economy and Knowledge, it is for his "pretty face". President Artur Mas believes that the presence of a teacher who has taught at Harvard and is fluent in English in the government gives "pedigree" and an image of "seriousness". However, the reality, the demonstrable facts, is the opposite. For example, there was no point in being married to Esther Silberstein -of jewish lineage- to "cajole" the Jewish Sheldon Adelson to install his failed Eurovegas in Catalonia.

In the wake of Andreu Mas-Colell's passage through the Catalan Government, the new Attila, the Generalitat will be like a building site. During his four years as head of the Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, he has sold a total of 34 publicly owned buildings, including almost all the offices of the ministries. Only that of Health Care has been "saved", located in the modernist premises of La Maternidad (Motherhood); of Enterprise and Employment, which is now up for sale... and the Palace of the Generalitat, where Artur Mas has his office.

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