Bloomberg News

Catalonia Would Consider Independence Outside EU, Official Says

November 13, 2012

Catalonia, which has the biggest economy of Spain’s 17 regions, would consider pursuing independence even if it’s denied entry into the European Union, the regional government’s chief of staff said.

Catalonia holds early elections on Nov. 25 that may be a precursor to a bid for independence. Spain’s central government has said that any referendum on independence would be unconstitutional. Spain would also have the power to block any bid to join the EU.

“If all doors are closed, maybe we should have a meeting in the Catalan parliament between Catalan parties to find the best way to continue this process,” Joan Vidal de Ciurana said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Barcelona today. “If the majority considers that the process should continue, we will continue, because it’s the mandate we’ll have been given by the people.”

For the time being, Catalonia will continue to rely on the central government for its finances, and Vidal de Ciurana said that the regional administration has received 28.6 percent of the 5.4 billion euros ($6.9 billion) from Spain’s regions fund to shore up the finances of struggling states.

The Catalan government plans to use the remaining funds to pay off holders of so-called Patriot bonds that were sold to finance the region, Vidal de Ciurana said. Spain can’t afford to let the region go bankruptcy, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net


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