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Catalan economy to grow even faster than expected

The Catalan Minister of Economy and Finance, Oriol Junqueras, defended the good health of the Catalan economy on Friday and insisted on the Catalan executive’s commitment to continue within the European Union in case of independence. At the 33th Annual Meeting of the Economy Circle in Sitges, Junqueras confirmed that his executive expects to surpass 2.7% of annual economic growth and highlighted the fact that Catalonia account for 85% of the deficit reduction of all administrations in Spain. The Catalan minister also used the opportunity to communicate a message of calm to the economic sector, guaranteeing that “Catalonia will not leave the EU in case of independence” since there is “absolutely no legal mechanism that foresees this case”. Along this line, Junqueras stressed the “firm pro-European commitment” of the Catalan government and its determination of “strengthening” a common project and creating “excellent relationships” with neighbors, “especially Spain”. In this case, however, like “two states with the same powers”.

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26 May 2017 09:50 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Minister of Economy and Finance, Oriol Junqueras, defended the good health of the Catalan economy on Friday and insisted on the Catalan executive’s commitment to continue within the European Union in case of independence. At the 33th Annual Meeting of the Economy Circle in Sitges, Junqueras confirmed that his executive expects to surpass 2.7% of annual economic growth and highlighted the fact that Catalonia account for 85% of the deficit reduction of all administrations in Spain. The Catalan minister also used the opportunity to communicate a message of calm to the economic sector, guaranteeing that “Catalonia will not leave the EU in case of independence” since there is “absolutely no legal mechanism that foresees this case”. Along this line, Junqueras stressed the “firm pro-European commitment” of the Catalan government and its determination of “strengthening” a common project and creating “excellent relationships” with neighbors, “especially Spain”. In this case, however, like “two states with the same powers”. 


“If the expectations of the Government are fulfilled we will close 2017 with a GDP of €233 billion”, when 5 years ago it had stagnated at €200 billion”, explained Junqueras in a speech at the economic forum. In this context, the Catalan minister of Economy and Finance reminded the audience comprised of business directives and representatives of economic institutions that the prediction of the Chamber of Commerce and the BBVA bank for the annual growth of the Catalan economy already surpasses the government’s own forecast with a 2.8% and 3%, respectively.

Junqueras also highlighted the solidness of the economic growth over time (3.4% in 2015, 3.5% in 2016) based in large part on a diversified economy sustained to a great extent by the industrial sector. As an example, the Catalan minister mentioned investments of €1.5 billion in the technological sector in the past 15 months.

Another important figure that demonstrates the good rhythm of the Catalan economy is, according to the minister, the reduction of the Catalan deficit from 2.88% of the GDP to 0.93% in one year (2015 to 2016), which accounts for 85% of the deficit reductions of all the administrations in Spain. To achieve this, the surplus of the local administrations was an important factor, Junqueras pointed out.

Asked by representatives of the business sector about possible negative effects of the independence process on the economic development and commercial activity, and especially to an eventual expulsion of an independent Catalonia from the European Union, the Minister of Economy and Vice President of the Catalan Government urged for calm. “It is impossible” that Catalonia would have to leave the European Union, he sentenced, while pointing out that there is “no legal mechanism, treaty, regulation or article that foresees this case; only if a member wants to leave on its own initiative”.

In this context, the Vice President of the Catalan Government highlighted the pro-European position of the Catalan government guaranteeing his executive’s commitment with the continuity of an independent Catalonia in the European Union and the strengthening of a common European project. Strong European institutions and a more united Europe “are part of the future plans of the Catalan government” as well as “strengthening common currency and fiscal policies” and the relationships with other European states, “especially Spain” because of the “existing bonds”. However, he stressed that his desired scenario is for Catalonia and Spain to be “two different states with the same powers”.

The Catalan Minister of Economy also played down concerns about a possible relocation of companies outside of Catalonia, because this was “not compatible with the record numbers of foreign investment in Catalonia” over the last two years.

Finally, Junqueras assured that his executive is open to dialogue with all agents. “The best way to solve current issues” is to let citizens talk “by letting them vote”, Junqueras said and confirmed that the Catalan government will not give up its commitment to let its citizens vote in an independence referendum.

 

 

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  • The Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, in Sitges (by ACN)

  • The Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, in Sitges (by ACN)