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The Catalan President guarantees that Catalonia “will have the euro as its currency whatever happens”

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, wanted to clarify some doubts about Catalonia’s EU membership in the event of becoming an independent state, specifically regarding economic issues. The Catalan Government is insisting that the treaties do not say that a separated part would automatically be expelled from the EU and that the issue would require a political negotiation. However, the Catalan President emphasised on Thursday that what is crystal clear is that “whatever Catalonia decides [regarding its independence from Spain], it will have the Euro as its currency”. Mas was answering the international investors behind BCN World, a €4.5 billion leisure resort. On Wednesday they stated that they do not care whether Catalonia remains in Spain or not, but they do care whether it has the euro and remains within the EU internal market.

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19 September 2013 10:07 PM

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ACN

Tortosa (ACN).- On Thursday, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, wanted to clarify some doubts about Catalonia’s EU membership in the event of becoming an independent state, specifically regarding economic issues. Mas emphasised that what is crystal clear is that “whatever Catalonia decides [regarding its independence from Spain], it will have the Euro as its currency”. Mas was answering the international investors behind BCN World, a €4.5 billion leisure resort to be built at the coastal town of Salou, on the Costa Daurada. On Wednesday they stated that they do not care whether Catalonia remains in Spain or not, but they do care whether it has the Euro as its currency and remains within the EU internal market. The investors were verbalising the doubts generated by the statements repeated from Madrid and Brussels in the last few days.


Coinciding with an intense diplomatic offensive from the Spanish Government, several European Commissioners have stated that “if a region separates from a Member State, the treaties are no longer in place from the day of its independence”. This is a view expressed by Romano Prodi in 2004 referring to Algeria’s hypothetical EU Membership because of its French past, which was not based on any specific article of the treaties. In fact, the Catalan Government is emphasising that the treaties do not say that a separated part of a Member State would automatically be expelled from the EU (neither do they say the contrary). Catalonia is stressing that the issue is really a matter of political will and should be settled by political negotiation. In fact, the European Commission indirectly acknowledges this interpretation, as immediately after repeating the “separated region” statement, it added that this is a “general principle” but that it refuses to “elaborate” about the Catalan case since it will only do that “on the basis of a precise scenario”.

From Tortosa, near the Ebro Delta – where MPs of his party held an informal political convention, the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas stressed that “there is no risk” that Catalonia could be without the Euro as its currency, no matter “what happens” in the future regarding its independence from Spain. Even if an agreement with the Spanish Government is not possible, Mas guaranteed that Catalonia will still have the Euro, since “there are countries that are not in the EU and have the Euro” as their currency. “Catalonia will continue having the Euro as its currency if it wants this… and it wants this”, he underlined.

The Catalan President explained that “top level” investors, who operate throughout the entire world, do not care “whether Catalonia is an [independent] state or not, whether it is part of Spain or not”. According to Mas, what they do care about is “whether it will still have the Euro as its currency” and be part of a European market. “Large international investors tell us – and this is important for us in order to calm everybody down – that they do not care whether Catalonia becomes an independent state or not, whether it is part of Spain or not”, he added.

Europe’s map has changed “spectacularly” over the last 25 years

On top of this, he pointed out that a map of Europe from 25 years ago and one from today “are completely different”, since new countries have been created, “most of them small and some of them smaller than Catalonia”. Even with this “spectacular” alteration of the European map, Mas emphasised that “foreign investors continue to invest in Europe”. He also added that “as we [Catalonia] are in the Euro, it is logical that they say it is better to stay within the Euro, which is a single currency”.

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  • The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, in Tortosa meeting (by A. Ferràs)

  • The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, in Tortosa meeting (by A. Ferràs)