Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Tax Disobedience against the Spanish Government

Maria and Andreu are two Catalan citizens, who live in Siurana, Priorat. They are married and have three kids. They own a small family restaurant in the same town.

About two months ago they decided to say enough to the treatment Catalan citizens receive, which makes us completely and unnecessarily dependent on Spain, and which is impoverishing this country. They explained their situation and their project of disobedience, "Diem Prou" ("Enough is enough!") already in our blog, in th post "We are no longer Spaniards"

Up until now they have been informing themselves and seeking the support of organizations. They have received the support of thousands of citizens and some organizations like Ara o Mai, Centre Català de Negocis, Sobirania i Progrés, Assemblea Nacional Catalana, Welcome Mr President and CADCI.

Currently, after having sent a fax to Catalonia’s President where they ask him that they might fulfill their tax duties in Catalonia, they decided to make an announcement to inform about their current situation and about the steps they’ll take from now on until they effectively put their tax disobedience in action against Spain.
As they say, “It is an act of justice. The crushing fiscal pressure exerted on the Catalans, bordering the 40% of all money generated, over 20 years, has had the effect of some 300 billions of debt. This affects our society at all levels, and is making of us a poorer, more indebted country”.
Their action intends to put pressure on the government so that it acts strongly and with the dignity Catalonia deserves.
This morning they gave a press conference, and we were there. The following text is what they read before answering the questions from the press. From now on you can read their news in their blog and you can follow their acount in Twitter.










"Who are we?
We are Maria and Andreu, two Catalan citizens, who live in Siurana, Priorat. We have three kids. We own a small family restaurant. We like what we do. We try being respectful to others. We try to live fully and with dignity every day.


Our decision
About two months ago we decided that we’d had enough. Due to the critical times the Catalan government is going through, combined with Catalonia’s worsening and impoverishing relations with Spain, on top of our own politicians’ weakness and compliance, we decided to say enough is enough!

Starting in 2012, our company will not pay taxes to Spain.


Information and acting as one are key to success.

Information and spreading the word

During these two months, we’ve had lots of support. We’ve had a chance to listen and learn. We’ve come to discover this entire network of associations which we thought we knew about, but which is infinitely greater than we’d imagined.

We’ve found lots of works and studies that explain why Catalonia is going through some tough times, and what it could become as a free nation, namely after our independence.

All this has just confirmed to us that:
The economic drainage from Spain is and has been enormous.

A simple* annual money swindle of approximately 20 billion euros equals, over 20 years, more than a quarter trillion (with a T) euros, or 140 trillion pesetas.

[*The word simple, as in simple interest, refers to the fact that these figures do not include additional income that Catalonia might have been able to generate with the money that had been taken away.]

The consequences of this incredible, oppressing mishandling are devastating, and affect our country’s development at all levels. That is, it does not just affect our companies, but our educational and health systems, our culture and civic associations as well. Everything gets affected.

So much so that, far from being a successful country, with high social standards, we have a poor government that is sinking down. Our government is trying to get through crazy debt levels, and is being forced to sell its own property. We are struggling with a 25% poverty level, an 80% of companies with financing troubles, an out of control unemployment rate approaching 30%, a 40% of school failure, plus unparalleled cuts to social security and universal health, combined with loss of housing for families.

After discovering the extent of this injustice, and due to Spain’s inappropriate, smothering political interventionism, two months later we wish to stand by our decision, which we understand as an act of justice. An act from which we cannot back off, and which we will not let off until Catalonia is its own free nation. We just can’t stay inactive watching how countless Catalan citizens lose their jobs, their houses, the very financial resources to move forward.

What we are doing is legal according to international law, because the Spanish government has not respected the decisions of our freely elected Parliament, or our own decision in a referendum. This is tantamount to a crime in a democracy, on top of the outrageous economic injustice to which we’re being put through.

What we are doing amounts to an act of civil disobedience against Spain with which we are trying pressure our government so that they find a way to give us the courage and dignity we deserve as a people.

All together!

One of the conclusions we’ve come to is that we will face the consequences of our actions more or less easily depending on the ability of our country to stay together, giving decisive and brave responses.

Now we just have one goal: a Catalan State. This common goal unites everyone who lives and works in Catalonia, and who wishes to continue doing so, but with a future filled with progress, respect, and dignity. We are making it happen!

We have the will and the strength!!!


2012 Disobedience against Spain
It’s 2012 already, and we’re going ahead with this act of justice, as we said we would. The first step was to inform our president, Mr. Artur Mas, that we did not receive an answer to our first letter, and that, now more than ever, we put all of our trust in him, the highest representative in our country.

We wish to fulfill our civic duties, but we want to do so in our own country; we are asking for an account number in order to deposit our taxes and the taxes from any company who wishes to do like us.

We have great hopes in our companies and self-employed citizens. As patriots, now is the time to be brave. We ourselves directly can start being disobedient.

All we are asking from other citizens and organizations is unconditional support. Even if they decide not to disobey, just their support and help to spread the word will be essential to move forward decisively.

We are hoping that our political institutions and parties have the country’s best interests in mind. There are some of those who do so already, but we’d like them to be the majority.

From now on until the end of April we are going to:

- Inform our fellow citizens about how we'll pay in Catalonia the taxes we're not paying to Spain, how we'll put into practice the fiscal sovereignty paying directly to an account number of the Agència Tributària Catalana  We'll keep on explainig the extent of the raping (40% of the income belonging to every single Catalan stays in Madrid never to come back,) and the advantages of having our own state. We already have the support of organizations like Ara o Mai, CADCI, Welcome Mr President, Sobirania i Progrés, Centre Català de Negocis, Club FNEC, Intersindical - CSC ...

- Act across the board. This is not just something that pro-independence folks should worry about. It’s simply an action taken by some Catalan citizens who wish for a just treatment of their country. This time will not divide us! We open our doors to farmers, musicians, architects, civil servants, businessmen, athletes, artists. Everyone!

- Help out other businesspeople. Tax disobedience does not have legal precedent, and it’s risky. However, right now, according to us, it’s the only feasible and effective way to start the process towards having our own state. We work with a group of lawyers who can answer any questions you might have.

Paying our own taxes to Catalonia is the only way to get out of this spiral of destruction we’re in.

Citing one of the companies that already showed their support in a gathering a month ago, “Our goal is to be 600,000 companies or self-employed people, which is the total number in Catalonia. However, just having yours is already a success, because justice’s might is not measured in quantity, but in the determination to execute it.”

To everyone present here today, we ask you to show us your support, not for ourselves, but for ALL of us, for Catalonia!
Thank-you.
Andreu i Maria"


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