Tancament de Caixes

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The closing of the cashboxes (in Catalan, tancament de caixes) of Barcelona in 1899 is the name for the protest of merchants and industrialists against the law of the Francisco Silvela cabinet and his minister of the Treasury, Raimundo Fernández Villaverde. The protest consisted of shutting down business and industrial establishments in order to stop paying tax without it being illegal. The protest was led by the very mayor of the city, Dr. Bartolomeu Robert, and was begun on 20 October 1899.

The shutting of the cashboxes was caused by the colonial crisis of 1898, which led the Spanish government to impose some restrictive budgets along with an increase in taxation to compensate for the deficit. The protest was primarily against the corporate and personal income tax, and that on personal bonds, which had higher rates in Barcelona than in Madrid. That created a feeling of having been betrayed among the Catalan bourgeoisie, as they had fought alongside the dynastic parties.

The board of the Industrial & Commercial League of Defense issued a call to protest. A Permanent Union Board was chosen, representing more than fifty Barcelona guilds. The protest extended to Sabadell, Mataró, Manresa and Villafranca del Penedes, and some business-owners were arrested for not paying taxes.

Consequences

  • the resignation of Barcelona mayor Doctor Robert (1842-1902)
  • the resignations of the Spanish government ministers Manuel Durán i Bas (1823-1907) and Camilo Garcia of Polavieja and Castillo