In an important move, France, which is Catalonia’s only neighbor beside Spain, declared that it ‘will not recognize’ Catalonia as an independent state if it calls itself an independent republic tomorrow.
As we’ve informed you yesterday, the Catalan parliament has been suspended by the Constitutional court today, but will normally tomorrow resume operations. At that moment, Catalan secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont has announced he will unilaterally declare independence from Spain.
Today, the French European affairs minister, Ms. Nathalie Loiseau said: “If there were to be a declaration of independence, it would be unilateral, and it would not be recognized.
Even though Ms. Loiseau is only a junior minister in the cabinet of French President Emmanuel Macron, it is assumed her words would not be spoken unless they are approved by him.
Ms. Loiseau continued: “Catalonia cannot be defined by the vote organized by the independence movement just over a week ago. This crisis needs to be resolved through dialogue at all levels of Spanish politics. If independence were to be recognized, which is not something that’s being discussed, the most immediate consequence would be that Catalonia automatically left the European Union.”
Yesterday saw huge rallies all over Spain in support of unity, but no major politicians dared to participate.
In the Brussels halls of power, the first tongue waggling has also started. Although major European leaders are still not speaking out, the EU budget commissioner, Mr. Gunther Oettinger did: “Catalonia runs the risk of causing a civil war on European soil. The situation is very, very disturbing. A civil war in planned in the middle of Europe.”
The business community in Barcelona is also getting nervous about the uncertainty, with many of them moving headquarters further south to Valencia and Alicante.
For this reason, Spain's government passed a law making it easier for companies to move their official base out of Catalonia. The decree was designed specifically for Spanish lender Caixabank.
At least half a dozen companies, including the fifth-largest lender, Banco Sabadell, have already relocated or agreed to do so.
Understandably, France has a bunch of such little holdings and stands to lose a lot of political footprint, Tax Revenues and the ability to maintain wide open borders for refugees.