66.8% of small and medium-size business owners would support an independent Catalan state within the EU
Pimec, the main SME association in Catalonia, issued a survey taken of its members. Two thirds of the interviewees would support Catalonia’s independence from Spain while remaining in the European Union. 21.1% would prefer a more federal Spain and only 12.1% would back the current situation. In addition, 97.5% of the interviewees support improving Catalonia’s fiscal scheme. Furthermore, 61.2% think a hypothetical boycott of Catalan products by Spain would not or would hardly affect them.
Barcelona (ACN).- Two thirds of the owners of small and medium-sized business in Catalonia would be in favour of an independent Catalan state within the European Union (EU), according to a survey presented on Thursday by Pimec, the main Catalan SME owners association. 66.8% of the interviewees would be in favour of Catalonia’s independence from Spain while remaining within the EU and the Euro, which is the formula proposed by all pro-Catalan independence parties. In addition, 21.1% of the interviewees would support a more federal Spain and only 12.1% would prefer the current situation to continue. This means that 87.9% of the interviewees would support either Catalonia’s total independence from Spain or a greater level of decentralisation. In addition, 81.5% of the interviewees think that an independent Catalonia would be economically viable. Regarding the self-determination referendum, 82.4% are in favour of the Catalan Parliament’s promise to organise a citizens’ vote within the next four years. 97.5% of the Catalan SME owners think Catalonia should receive better fiscal treatment by Spain. Additionally, 92.2% consider that Catalonia should raise all the taxes and later pay a specific amount to the Spanish Government in terms of solidarity with the poorer Autonomous Communities as well as any services provided and investments made in Catalonia. This is the fiscal agreement the Basque Country and Navarra already have and the one the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, refused Catalonia when the Catalan President, Artur Mas, presented it to him last month. In Thursday’s presentation, Pimec’s President, Josep González, emphasised the “forcefulness” of the survey’s results. According to him, the survey’s goal was to know what the SME owners think of the political situation.
Pimec “would not put any obstacles” in front of the construction of a Catalan state
The President of the Catalan SME main association explained that he has been “surprised by the forcefulness of the survey’s results”, with a very large majority supporting Catalonia’s independence from Spain and a fairer fiscal scheme for Catalonia. In addition, as he said yesterday evening at a dinner conference, Pimec “would not put any obstacles” in front of the construction of a Catalan state. In addition, González said that with these data, the self-determination process has already started.
Most of the interviewees are micro- or small-sized companies
The survey was taken on the 23rd and 24th October. Pimec’s President admitted that “maybe the most sensitive to the issue have answered”, but he still thought the survey is “representative” as the response was “wide”. 2,224 companies were contacted. 43.9% are micro-businesses, 41.4% are small-sized companies, 12.2% are medium-sized businesses and 2.6% are large enterprises. Out of all the interviewees, 35.4% sell 30% or more of their production to the rest of Spain, 33.7% do not sell to the rest of Spain, and 30.9% sell less than 30% of their production to the rest of Spain.
A large majority has little to fear from a hypothetical boycott
Regarding a hypothetical boycott of Catalan products in the rest of Spain (as already happened in 2005 when Catalonia was reforming its own Statute of Autonomy), the largest companies are those most afraid. However, in general terms, a large majority of the interviewees thinks it would not or would hardly affect them. 44.3% of the interviewees think they would “scarcely” suffer from a hypothetical boycott, while 16.9% consider the effect of the boycott would be “none”. However, 15% think they would “significantly” suffer and 23.7% think they would suffer “a lot” from a boycott.
Girona has the highest percentage of SME supporting Catalonia’s independence
Similar to surveys involving the entire population, the Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia, where the Costa Brava is located) has the highest percentage of independence supporters among SME owners. 83.2% of the interviewees in Girona would support an independent Catalan state within the EU. In Tarragona Province (southern Catalonia, where the Costa Daurada and the Ebro Delta are located), 35.6% of the interviewees would back Catalonia’s independence. In Barcelona Province (which concentrates two thirds of the Catalan population and the largest industrial centres), 64.7% of the interviewees would support independence from Spain. Finally in the Province of Lleida (western Catalonia), 63.1% of the SME owners would prefer independence while 23.3% would support a federal Spain.