The Andalucia Historic Debt (Deuda Histórica de Andalucía) is a somewhat fuzzy concept of how much Spain has had out of Andalucía, versus what Andalucía has had out Spain. Some people calculate it from the late 1800’s. The central government tried to define the concept in 1978, and again in 1981 with the Fondo Compensación Interterritorial (Interterritorial Compensation Fund), but naturally enough Catalunya was miffed that they weren’t getting “enough”.
Ignoring the fact that so far I’ve been unable to find any cohesive argument for the H.D. (its mainly a nationalist ploy to make the plebs feel as if “they” have ripped “us” off) ZP recent paid off the Catalans with 800million €s, or about €108 a head in order to shut everybody up.
The payment for Andalucía at first looked promising. 1,204 million euros. But is the new total amount to be paid, and Aznar paid 120 million in 1996 (before stopping because Andalucía got into an almighty row about the final amount) and ZP has already paid 300 million last year. This leaves a final 780 million euros, or €95 a head, to be paid before the 20th of March 2010, if ZP hasn’t bankrupted us all by then (nobody knows where the money is coming from).
The P.P. is making political capital of the fact that Aznar (P.P. ex prime minister) originally offered 500 million more than ZP (PSOE current p.m.), and claim that this is a face saving political measure by Chaves (dubbed “King Maker” after having been spotted Up North after the recent elections, talking to all sides) to prop up ZPs administration as it goes through a sticky patch. Although the PSOE in Seville are gleeful about the windfall and claim that the P.P. would never have paid Andalucía a cent.
And the loony nationalist bloc are already complaining about how much Madrid had out of Spain when the South American treasure troves were passing through the region in the 15th and 16th centuries, plus the expropiation of land from peasents in the 17th and 18th, mining concessions in the 19th…. I’m just glad we never had any oil, or there would be trouble.
Meanwhile, political pundits are being gloomy about the fact that a further 6 autonomous regions are looking into putting in their own claims and that “its the end of Spain”. However, Andalucía was the first to mention the topic when it insisted in the 1981 Statues of Autonomy the inclusion of the mention of the “Historic Debt”, so it probably deserved something just for coming up with the idea.
I wonder if Almería can claim a Historic Debt with Seville..?
The other 6 regions, by the way, are:
Aragón: wants 600M.
Baleares: in 2008 estimated the debt to be 344M.
Galicia: in 2003 wanted 600M, then sat down with a pen and a napkin in a bar, redid its sums and came out with a new figure in 2004 of 1600M. (No doubt claimed the first 1 was a typing error).
Murcia: Is threatening to go to the courts if it doesn’t get 1600M.
La Rioja: 537M estimate.
Extremadura: Doesn’t know yet, but damned well wants something.