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10 Oct, 2017 10:25

Spanish economy minister says 'it's very clear' Catalan independence not going to happen

Spanish economy minister says 'it's very clear' Catalan independence not going to happen

People have nothing to fear about their deposits in Catalan banks, says Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, as he says it's impossible for Catalonia to gain independence from the rest of the country.

"It's very clear the independence of Catalonia is not going to take place," the minister told CNBC.

He added that "It's illegal, irrational, and detrimental to the Catalan economy. We have seen the decisions taken by a lot of corporations."

Spain will keep growing despite the uncertainty created by the Catalonia crisis, said Guindos.

The minister’s words come as business confidence has been impacted following the referendum in which more than two million Catalans voted to break away from Spain.

In the past few months, a number of firms and banks have moved out of Catalonia or announced plans as the region's political leaders threatened to declare independence.

The Spanish government issued a decree last week making it easier for companies to move their legal base out of Catalonia.

On Tuesday, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will address the regional parliament for the first time since the referendum which has triggered the standoff with the Spanish government. It's unclear though if he will declare independence.

Puigdemont promised initially to make a unilateral declaration of independence within 48 hours of a victory for the secessionist campaign. After the referendum, he called for mediated negotiations with Madrid.

The European Union has already said it won’t recognize an independent Catalonia.

The Catalonia crisis should be a concern for the whole 19 nations that share the single currency, according to the Portugal's Finance Minister Ricardo Mourinho Felix.

"It's not only a problem for Portugal, but it's also an issue for the euro area and Europe as a whole," he told CNBC on the sidelines of Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg.

"We are also concerned about the situation as devoted Europeans that believe in the European project, and it's very important to have a close monitoring," he added.