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Catalan referendum

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PDR
1254458.  Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:10 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
And to further that point, let's all contemplate this article, http://www.pressherald.com/2017/10/08/spanish-unionists-wave-flags-march-in-streets-of-barcelona/, about the march in Barcelona last weekend by people in favour of Spanish unity rather than Catalonian indepndence.


I did actually mention that yesterday.

PDR


Last edited by PDR on Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total

 
suze
1254486.  Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:51 pm Reply with quote

brunel wrote:
A number of businesses seem to see the situation rather differently and are less keen to stay put in Catalonia if they declare independence.


But how much of that is bluster? All sorts of companies claimed that they would move out of Britain if the EU referendum voted to Leave. HSBC had made that threat more times than most, but it hasn't actually done it and neither has any other company of any consequence.

The 7½ million people of Catalunya will not cease to want banking services, and by and large they quite simply will not use banks which they perceive as belonging to the Spain of Franco. Even among those who are not passionate about independence, anti-Spanish feeling in Catalunya runs far higher than anti-English feeling in Scotland.

From that point of view, a move to València wouldn't be as alienating as a move to Madrid. I don't know which bank Grifols uses or which bank CF Barcelona uses, but I cannot imagine that those banks particularly want those particular customers to walk away from them - as they probably would if their banks moved to Madrid.


brunel wrote:
Actually, the most recent statements from the French government have been very negative - their European Affairs minister has stated that they would refuse to recognise Catalonia as an independent state and it would automatically lead to the expulsion of Catalonia from the EU.


The latter part is undoubtedly true, at least in the immediate term. But while the French government kinda has to say the former part for political reasons, we should not necessarily take it that it means it.

After all, Charles de Gaulle never officially recognized Ian Smith's UDI in Rhodesia. This did not stop France being Rhodesia's second largest trading partner (behind South Africa), and did not stop France selling Rhodesia and South Africa the armaments that the UK and US declined to.

 
dr.bob
1254590.  Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:05 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
AIUI when we had our referendum, at the request and exclusive inclusion of a region with a population less than London, Spain were pretty much certain that they would not allow Scotland's entry n the grounds that it would encourage their own seperatists, so I'm not certain they actually would vote in favour of accession.


That's certainly what they've said in the past. However, the point I was making is that, if it's a choice between standing by what they've said in the past whilst ensuring economic collapse, or simply changing their minds in order to preserve the standard of living of their voters, I think most politicians will discover that their strongly held opinions weren't really that strongly held at all.

So maybe the bigger question would concern Belgium and their previous opposition to independence referendums.

brunel wrote:
A number of businesses seem to see the situation rather differently and are less keen to stay put in Catalonia if they declare independence.


That's an interesting article you've posted, thanks for that. Note that it refers to companies relocating their headquarters rather than their entire business, so clearly they're not talking about pulling out of Catalonia completely.

Also note that the companies that are currently relocating, or talking about doing so, are banks. Most of the sources I've found online, like this one, say that Catalonia's economy includes a strong base in manufacturing of things like automobiles, chemicals, manufacturing of electrical household appliances and state-of-the-art computer equipment. Companies with big factories might find it rather more difficult to relocate large portions of their business than service industries like banking.

Which leads to another interesting strand: if a significant number of large businesses would be affected if the RoS decided to completely cut off ties with an independent Catalonia, you can bet that the government in Madrid will come under a lot of pressure from those businesses to ensure that the trading relations continue in as close to the current mode as is possible.

 
brunel
1254743.  Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:29 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
brunel wrote:
A number of businesses seem to see the situation rather differently and are less keen to stay put in Catalonia if they declare independence.


But how much of that is bluster? All sorts of companies claimed that they would move out of Britain if the EU referendum voted to Leave. HSBC had made that threat more times than most, but it hasn't actually done it and neither has any other company of any consequence.

In this particular case, there have been a number of companies who have backed up those assertions with actions by beginning to move some staff out of the region. Some may have blustered, but a lot more companies have not chosen to make public threats and instead tended to announce their decision after they have already made the plans to move (such as in the case of Caixa).

dr.bob wrote:
brunel wrote:
A number of businesses seem to see the situation rather differently and are less keen to stay put in Catalonia if they declare independence.


That's an interesting article you've posted, thanks for that. Note that it refers to companies relocating their headquarters rather than their entire business, so clearly they're not talking about pulling out of Catalonia completely.

Also note that the companies that are currently relocating, or talking about doing so, are banks. Most of the sources I've found online, like this one, say that Catalonia's economy includes a strong base in manufacturing of things like automobiles, chemicals, manufacturing of electrical household appliances and state-of-the-art computer equipment. Companies with big factories might find it rather more difficult to relocate large portions of their business than service industries like banking.

Which leads to another interesting strand: if a significant number of large businesses would be affected if the RoS decided to completely cut off ties with an independent Catalonia, you can bet that the government in Madrid will come under a lot of pressure from those businesses to ensure that the trading relations continue in as close to the current mode as is possible.

Whilst that particular article mainly referred to the banking sector, that is potentially because those particular banks have important links to the UK banking sector - Sabadell, for example, owns TSB Bank.

Out of the IBEX 35 (the primary stock market in Spain), ten of those companies have either moved or are in the process of moving their headquarters. That includes the construction company Abertis Infraestructuras, the telecommunications companies Cellnex and Eurona, the textile manufacturing firm Dogi International Fabrics and Service Point, a major reprographics company. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/the-companies-leaving-catalonia-in-the-face-of-political-uncertainty.html

Asides from those organisations, Gas Natural, the largest utility provider in Spain, is currently in the process of moving their headquarters out of the region.

There are signs that some international companies are potentially nervous too - Volkswagen, who operate a major factory near Barcelona, have hinted that they will be suspending investment in their factories in the region.

Now, it is true that they are mainly focussing on their headquarters, which are probably one of the easier parts of the company to move at this stage, but it is not just a single sector of the Catalan economy which is taking fright - multiple different sectors are taking action, to the point where the Círculo d‘Economia (the Catalan equivalent of the CBI in the UK) have warned of "serious consequences" for the Catalan economy if the government does plough on ahead with independence and debt rating agencies are already considering downgrading Catalonia's rating.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/05/catalonia-political-turmoil-prompting-firms-to-consider-relocating-banks-spain-eu-independence

 
dr.bob
1255864.  Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:04 am Reply with quote

brunel wrote:
Now, it is true that they are mainly focussing on their headquarters, which are probably one of the easier parts of the company to move at this stage, but it is not just a single sector of the Catalan economy which is taking fright


This whole situation could have an important effect on the UK. If Catalonia declares independence and breaks away from the Rest of Spain, any attempt to block them from joining the EU as an independent nation would put them in the same boat as the UK: negotiating new trade deals with the EU. I wonder if that would help negotiations, by having someone else on the UK side, or hinder them, by having someone so likely to annoy some of the other EU governments.

If, by contrast, Catalonia are allowed to rejoin the EU as an independent nation, that would massively embolden the SNP in Scotland and might lead to a successful independence vote north of the border. Certainly, for me, one of the big reasons for not voting "Yes" is the uncertainty as to whether we'd end up in or out of the EU after independence.

All this presupposes that Catalonia would become independent, which is far from given. However, there's clearly a non-zero chance of it happening, otherwise why would all these companies be taking steps to deal with the eventuality?

 
barbados
1257204.  Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:34 pm Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41713190
Mariano Rajoy wrote:
"If you look at the rest of democracies and certainly partners in the European Union, they wouldn't accept a decision as such to be taken by a part of the country."


Of course they wouldn't

not a cat in hells chance

 
GuyBarry
1257206.  Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:52 pm Reply with quote

Clearly Spain no longer regards the UK as a partner in the European Union.

 
Leith
1257209.  Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:20 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41713190
Mariano Rajoy wrote:
"If you look at the rest of democracies and certainly partners in the European Union, they wouldn't accept a decision as such to be taken by a part of the country."


Of course they wouldn't

not a cat in hells chance


The decisions to hold independence referendums for Scotland and Gibraltar were taken by the Government representing the whole country.

It seems extremely unlikely to me that the UK government would support a unilateral decision by a region to hold its own independence referendum.

 
barbados
1257214.  Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:27 pm Reply with quote

How do you think the Scottish referndum came about?
Would it be the UK government suggested it, or the Scottish government asked for it - and the UK government agreed?

 
GuyBarry
1257215.  Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:52 pm Reply with quote

Leith wrote:

The decisions to hold independence referendums for Scotland and Gibraltar were taken by the Government representing the whole country.


There has never been an independence referendum for Gibraltar. The referendum held in 2002 was at the instigation of the government of Gibraltar, over the UK government's plans to open negotiations over joint sovereignty with Spain. This was rejected by 99% to 1% on an 88% turnout. The UK government called it "eccentric", but none the less the result was respected:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2152265.stm

Quote:
It seems extremely unlikely to me that the UK government would support a unilateral decision by a region to hold its own independence referendum.


No, I don't suppose it would. Fortunately, in Scotland, it didn't let the political situation get out of control to the extent that the Scottish government felt it necessary to do so.

 
Alexander Howard
1257536.  Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:21 am Reply with quote

So, how about we all club together and buy Mariano Rajoy a book for his bedtime reading: one on Irish history.

 
barbados
1258182.  Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:47 am Reply with quote

According to google translate....
Quote:
parece que es hora de abrir las palomitas de maíz

 
suze
1258191.  Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:22 am Reply with quote

Benvinguda a Catalunya Ocupada!

I'm sure I need not translate that from the Catalan, but it's what was written on a placard I saw as we were approaching the hotel in Barcelona where we stay tonight before returning to England tomorrow.

We're staying in the suburbs near the airport, and we haven't been into the city proper yet. We'll be doing that a bit later on, but the suburbia we've seen thus far appeared little different than on any other Friday afternoon. The febrile atmosphere which I was sort of expecting is absent, although maybe things will be different when we walk La Rambla, but not with real intent.

 
tetsabb
1258213.  Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:59 pm Reply with quote

Interesting times, suze.
My news feed tells me that the Cataln parliament declared independence today, and that the Spanish government is now considering charges of 'rebellion' against possibly the Catalan Cabinet or others.

 
suze
1258237.  Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:51 pm Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
Interesting times, suze.


Very, although not in fact all that interesting.

I heard that there was some kind of protest going outside the Catalan Parliament building, but it was placards and protest songs rather than fighting.

We could have gone that way if we'd really wanted, but the nearest we actually did get was Plaça Catalunya which is about half a mile away. The atmosphere was different from the previous times I've been in Barça; it felt a bit like Paris, for those who are familiar with the way that there's always just a sniff of a threat of unrest in the air in Paris.

At no time did I feel unsafe, but I don't think I'd choose now to take a trip whose main objective was Barcelona.


Safely back in our hotel in any case, several miles out from the centre of town. The room is clean and perfectly acceptable; it's not luxurious, but why would you book a luxury room when you're only staying one night? It is a bit too warm though, and we can't figure out how to turn the heating off. If anyone has her telescope trained on the hotel, our room is the one with the window wide open!

 

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