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Spain won't overturn decree facilitating companies fleeing Catalonia after all

Minister rejects changing measure and contradicts colleague’s previous announcement made to foster “stability and trust”

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15 October 2018 02:59 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government will ultimately not overturn the decree that facilitated companies fleeing Catalonia, as its vice president had announced last week.

The former People’s Party cabinet in Madrid passed the measure one year ago in response to the independence referendum held in Catalonia on October 1, 2017, and last Thursday the current Socialist executive’s vice president, Carmen Calvo, said the decree would be reversed to send a message of “stability and trust.”

"The conditions for companies leaving no longer exist, as shown by the fact that every time we visit Catalonia we meet with [government] officials," she said last week.

Batet rejects contradiction

Yet in an interview with the Spanish La Sexta TV outlet, one of Calvo’s colleagues in the cabinet, Meritxell Batet, rejected overturning the decree.

According to her, this is not a contradiction with the Spanish vice president.

Batet, public administration minister, asked why “more than 3,000 companies left” and said it was not due to the decree, implicitly criticizing pro-independence parties for going ahead with the independence roadmap last year with Spain’s opposition.

Withdrawing funds from Catalan banks

Yet a recent report from Catalan ‘Ara’ newspaper suggests that not only did the Spanish government facilitate the relocation of major companies last October, but also put pressure on them by withdrawing funds from public companies' accounts.

According to the paper, some 10 billion euros were withdrawn from CaixaBank and Banc Sabadell, in an orchestrated political attempt to punish the Catalan economy. 

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  • Spanish minister Meritxell Batet (by ACN)

  • Spanish minister Meritxell Batet (by ACN)

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