Whether the secessionists lead the new Catalonia’s government or not after December 21 elections, the weakened Spanish government will be inevitably forced to go through a negotiated constitutional reform which, amongst other objectives, will aim to satisfy the unrepentant Catalan nationalism.
Ciudadanos (37 seats) was the party which won the most votes in Catalonia but will not be able to form a government. The independent block still has control of the Parlament with 70 seats versus the 57 won by the constitutionalists and the 68 needed for an absolute majority. Ciudadanos’ victory is significant, a difficult milestone to achieve given the current electoral law. But the secessionists were able to hold on to their absolute majority in the regional parliament.
On the day when Catalonia votes for a new government, the region’s citizens are very confused about the reasons and where the blame lies for the situation they find themselves in.
For the time being, Spain’s economy is maintaining its cruising speed and GDP will grow 3.1% this year, according to estimates. But Catalonia’s progress is visibly slowing, with figures continually being downgraded.
The outcome of the Catalonia elections on December 21 will not easily bring a quick solution to the problem in the region. But both in the case of the independence movement losing the majority of seats (it no longer had the majority of votes and it’s almost impossible for it to obtain) or there being a division over the future, the path towards normalisation will have started.
From October 2 to November 24, 2.773 companies have transferred their headquarters (HQ) from Catalonia to other regions in Spain, according to figures from the College of Mercantile Registers in Spain.
The current political scenario in Spain requires us to highlight some points about our country, using as a starting point the Bank of Spain’s interesting analysis called: “The impact of the uncertainty arising from the political tensions in Catalonia”.
S&P published a specific note on Spain economy on 31/10 where it states that the recent events in Catalonia should not have any immediate impact on its rating nor its outlook (BBB+/Positive). At the same time, Moody’s published a note on Spain which is more cautious about the risks of implementing Article 155.
From 15:25 last Friday afternoon, when the Catalan Parliament made its unilateral declaration of independence, events have speeded up. Three hours after the solemn, but sad proclamation, the Republic of Catalonia disappeared into thin air. Mariano Rajoy dissolved the regional parliament and fired Carles Puigdemont’s government by implementing Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution in the Senate. And the biggest surprise: a call for elections on December 21.
Whether it’s the initiative of the Catalan or Spanish government, Catalonia is this week heading for elections at the beginning of 2018. Some will say the elections are constituent towards obtaining independence and the new Republic of Catalonia. Others will hold the view that they are autonomous elections under the protection of the 1978 Spanish Constitution. In fact what they will be are elections to clarify the current real political map in Catalonia.