Catalan independence will hurt economy, business leaders say: poll – POLITICO

Three-quarters of Spanish business leaders say Catalonia’s independence plans would hurt the country’s economy, according to a new survey, with just 1% saying it would boost economic growth.

In Catalonia itself, this figure is 43%, according to a survey carried out by Deloitte among 265 executives and published today in the Spanish newspaper El País.

Catalonia’s long-awaited and bitterly controversial referendum on independence from Spain will take place on October 1, Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont said last month.

The Spanish government announced last week that it was putting in place a new system to ensure the region does not use its budget to fund the referendum, which Madrid considers illegal. Under the new system, the Catalan authorities will have to send weekly reports describing their expenditure,

According to the El País survey, the tourism sector, which represents 11% of Spanish GDP, is particularly affected. All of the tourism executives who were surveyed said the region’s independence would hurt the wider economy and three in four expect it to directly hurt their business.

Catalonia was the main destination for international tourists in Spain in 2016, with 17.4 million visitors.

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