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Catalonia Would Have Facing Severe Problems Had It Broke Away From Spain – Analysis

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Catalan independence referendum, held in late-2017, had thrown Spain and Catalonia into severe political crisis and has created uncertainly for the foreign investors inside Catalonia.

What fate would the Catalans have embraced had Catalonia broke away from Spain after referendum?

Catalans from all walks of life would have suffered severe problems had the pro-independence camp got what they wished for in the referendum.

Here’s some food for thought for the Catalans who voted in the referendum and who didn’t, and for the ones who had been a keen spectator from Europe and elsewhere.

State Structures

Inception of an independent state requires the setting up of the essential state structures, including central bank, tax authority, judicial system, social security, a diplomatic service, a central bank and even an army.

Though most of these state structures/elements are available to Catalonia as an Spanish state/province, there are obvious concerns whether these elements are self-sufficient and mature enough to take the responsibilities of a newly born state.

Chaos

Had Catalonia become a sovereign state, a greater political uncertainty would have arose. There would be political chaos between the ones who opted for independence and the ones who didn’t.

The ones who sought to remain with Spain, or atleast didn’t actively support pro-independence campaigns, could have ended up facing rage and infuriated gestures from the opposite camp immediately after independence (had it been achieved).

Debt, currency, exodus of businesses

Moreover, Catalans would then have to assume a significant part of Spain’s debt. They would have to find a currency other than the Euro, as Spain would veto Catalan membership in the Euro Zone.

Without a confirmed currency in the market and with political uncertainty, there would have been a likely evacuation of multinational and Spanish companies from Catalonia to other parts in Spain. Already some multinational and Spanish companies either left or declared to leave Catalonia immediately after last independence referendum.

Access to EU market

If the membership to the European Union (EU) was delayed after Catalonia’s independence, Catalan products would have lost the privilege of unrestricted access to the EU market.

This newly independent state would have lost the leverages of entering into the EU member states’ markets as a free trade zone – a leverage its commercial products enjoy now as Spanish products.

Duties on Catalan goods and services would have been imposed not only by Spain, but also by other EU member states. Moreover, in times of economic disasters, Catalonia could not have called upon the help of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Central Bank (ECB).


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Bahauddin Foizee

Bahauddin Foizee

Bahauddin Foizee is an international affairs analyst & columnist, and specializes on greater Asia-Pacific & Indian Oceanic region geopolitics. He also focuses on geopolitics centering greater Middle East. With his articles published in several countries around the world, he, as a columnist, has a regular presence in the leading Dhaka-based newspapers. Besides his area of specialization, he sporadically writes his opinion on European geopolitics and deteriorating environment & refugee scenario.

One thought on “Catalonia Would Have Facing Severe Problems Had It Broke Away From Spain – Analysis

  • June 12, 2018 at 8:44 am
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    What an ill-conceived article. Of course when you start up and new country there is going to be some chaos. Do you expect it to be like a bank holiday? Really? But the benefits may be worth it, throwing off corrupt and pillaging Madrid. Madrid had 300 years to make Catalonia part of Spain, and even in this century it could have dealt with separatism in a peaceful way that would have brought Catalonia closer to Spain. Some of your points–Catalonia’s debt. No one mentions that this is money borrowed from Spain to support basic infrastructure, because the money Catalonia would have used is taxed away. Isn’t that incredible? But also typical of all relationships between Spain and Catalonia. Catalonia has to borrow with interest its own money. As for anger against people who did not want freedom, what characterizes this independence movement is peaceful relations. Catalonia has always been the progressive pro-democratic part of Spain. It has one of the oldest parliaments in Europe. Meanwhile Spain has not dealt with its Fascist past at all–it has never been a real democracy.

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