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EU would negotiate with an independent Catalonia to avoid “the collapse of the euro”, says Catalan diplomat

The Secretary General of the Diplocat, Albert Royo, expects the European Union and Spain to embark on discussions about Catalonia’s independence and its membership of the EU and the Eurozone if pro-independence groups win a “democratic mandate” in the next election, to be held on the 27th of September. During a conference at the Catalan Summer University in Prada, Royo warned that “it’s in no one’s interest” for Catalonia to be expelled from the EU. The diplomat emphasised that Catalonia represents 2.1% of the European GDP, “more than Finland or Greece”, so its expulsion could potentially lead to “the collapse of the euro”.

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21 August 2015 06:58 PM

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ACN

Prada (CNA).- The Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat), Albert Royo, expects the European Union and Spain to negotiate with Catalonia if pro-independence groups win the election on the 27th of September and receive a “democratic mandate” to create a new independent Catalan State. During a conference at the Catalan Summer University in Prada, in French Catalonia, Royo warned that “it’s in no one’s interest” for Catalonia to be expelled from the EU if it ever becomes independent. 


The Catalan diplomat emphasised that Catalonia represents 2.1% of the European GDP, “more than Finland or Greece”, so its expulsion could potentially lead to “the collapse of the euro”. That’s why, according to Royo, “the most reasonable scenario” is a negotiation. “We are realistic and we know that things won’t change overnight, we would need some months to negotiate” after a hypothetical pro-independence victory in September, said the Secretary General of the Diplocat. 

Up until now, the Diplocat, a public-private partnership aimed at fostering dialogue and relationships between Catalonia and the rest of the world, has focused its activities on explaining the demand of the vast majority of citizens in Catalonia to decide about their political future. From the 27th of September onwards, and only if pro-independence groups achieve a majority, the Diplocat will start a round of contacts to help “implement the democratic mandate” of the citizens and guarantee the continuity of Catalonia within the EU. 

In fact, Royo said that Catalonia already has some “channels” to maintain contacts with “the main governments” in the EU. The diplomat admitted, however, that EU member states “don’t go into detail” when discussing Catalonia, and won’t sit officially at any negotiation table unless there is a “clear democratic mandate” in favour of independence. The coalition ‘Together for Yes’ (Junts pel sí), which includes Catalan President Artur Mas’ Liberal Party, the main left wing opposition party ERC and members of the civil society, is running in the 27th of September election with the aim of declaring independence. The group would also receive support for this declaration from the alternative left and radical pro-independence Party CUP.      

According to Royo, despite the “negative and threatening messages” from the Spanish government against independence, European member states would be “pragmatic” in case of separation. He expects, in accordance with many experts, a transition period of about two years during which Catalonia would be governed by European law and all aspects of its membership to the EU and the Eurozone would be negotiated.

During the conference, Royo also said that the Diplocat has invited a group of international politicians to Catalonia in order to observe the 27-S election. An international mission already observed last year’s participatory process, a non-binding, unofficial consultation on the 9th of November in which 1.8 million Catalans voted in favour of independence.

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  • A Catalan independence flag next to a European Union one, in the last massive demonstration for independence (by A. Moldes)

  • A Catalan independence flag next to a European Union one, in the last massive demonstration for independence (by A. Moldes)