Spain Teaches Catalonia a Lesson about the Power of Money

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Money is fickle and fearful.

By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Within 48 hours this week, Catalonia, Spain’s largest regional economy, lost three of its seven biggest homegrown multinational corporations and several large national companies — if only on paper — to cities in other regions of Spain.

The first important company to “leave” since Sunday’s referendum was mid-sized pharmaceutical company Oryzon Genomics SA, which announced on Wednesday that it was departing Catalonia for Madrid. The same path has been traveled recently by firms like Derby Hotels, Unico Hotels, WPP and Schibsted.

But it wasn’t until Banc Sabadell, Spain’s fifth largest bank, announced that it was changing its registered company address to Alicante, a provincial city on Spain’s south-eastern coast, that the threat of a corporate exodus from Catalonia began to be taken seriously.

Banc Sabadell is as Catalan as the town that bears its name, but its management has been warning for years that it would move out of the region in the event of Catalan independence. That threat wasn’t taken seriously until Thursday.

But the move is only on paper — something that is not being reported nearly as clearly as it should be in much of the Spanish and foreign press. For the moment Sabadell is not moving its head office, nor is it relocating any of its workers. All it has done is change its legal address, and what’s more with minimal fiscal fanfare — in most of Spain (with the exception of the Basque Country and Navarre), all corporate tax is paid into the central coffers.

There are three main reasons for Sabadell’s (administrative) move:

  1. Within Spain the Catalan market only represents 26% of Sabadell’s operations today, whereas the rest of the Spanish market accounts for 74%. The bank also has operations in the UK and the US. But its biggest market is the Spanish mainland (outside Catalonia) and if independence occurs, it could end up being stranded from it.
  2. As a Catalan-based (albeit Spanish-registered) bank, it was beginning to suffer a run on deposits as customers began moving their money to other Spanish banks, either because they were afraid of what could happen to their funds in the event of independence or as punishment for its Catalan connection. Now, ironically, it could face the wrath of the other side of the divide.
  3. Most importantly, if Catalonia declares independence, its two main banks (Sabadell and Caixabank) could be cut off from European Central Bank funding, though it would be exceedingly difficult to pull off as they also have substantial operations in the rest of Spain. And if that were to happen, it would mean no more virtually interest-free loans from the ECB or access to Europe’s repo markets. In other words, a death sentence.




As soon as Sabadell announced its change of address on Thursday, the market rewarded it with a nice 5% surge in its share price. The message was clear to the rest of Catalonia’s listed companies, many of which had suffered similar routs to Sabadell: get out of Dodge (or at least pretend to on paper) and you’ll recover at least some of your losses.

All they needed was a little creative help from Spain’s central government in Madrid. On Friday morning the Rajoy administration passed a law making it possible for Spanish companies to move their registered address to other regions of the country in just one business day and without having to consult their shareholders, even if their company charters state otherwise.

In Spain it’s incredible how fast the wheels of legislation and justice can turn when the government and major corporations need them to, and how slowly they turn when senior representatives of the government or corporations suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Within hours of the passage of the new law, two of Catalonia’s most emblematic companies had used it to change their registered address:

  • Caixabank, Spain’s third largest lender opted for Spain’s third largest city, Valencia, as its new official (but not yet physical) address. Its company charter states that moving the corporate address can take up to a month to complete and the decision must have the approval of the bank’s shareholders. But thanks to Madrid’s change in the law, that’s no longer necessary.
  • Gas Natural, one of Spain’s biggest energy companies, chose Madrid as its registered address. Like Sabadell and Caixabank, it won’t be moving even a paper clip to its new registered office as long as the Catalan government doesn’t follow through on its threat to declare independence. Unlike Sabadell and Caixabank, it is not a financial institution, so it’s not effectively backstopped by the ECB, but it is a major beneficiary of the ECB’s corporate bond buying program.

None of these moves really change anything of great substance, but they have changed the scales somewhat in Madrid’s information war with Catalonia, a war Madrid was desperately losing until Thursday. With this strategy, Madrid might have succeeded in dampening support for Catalan independence among more moderate separatists — especially if they’ve been misled into believing that the companies are actually upping sticks.

In reality, the companies going nowhere — at least not for now. Nonetheless, the last two days of frenetic developments are a lesson about the power of money that Madrid and Corporate Spain are trying to teach Catalans, that their strive for independence will come with pain, sacrifice, and disruption, and that money can be extremely fickle and fearful, that it can leave without notice, especially when political turmoil is on the rise.  By Don Quijones.

Spain’s biggest political crisis of a generation is finally beginning to take its toll on the country’s financial markets. Money is on the move. Read…  Catalonia Chaos Begins to Squeeze Spain’s Financial Markets




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  58 comments for “Spain Teaches Catalonia a Lesson about the Power of Money

  1. chip javert
    Oct 6, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    So Spain does this AFTER the referendum & voter beat-down by police?

    That’s some serious strategery…

  2. mean chicken
    Oct 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    “Welcome to the Hotel California” Eagles

  3. Gershon
    Oct 6, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Corporations and bankers have no loyalty to any country.

    • Tony of Ca
      Oct 7, 2017 at 12:25 am

      Very true statement.

      • Gershon
        Oct 7, 2017 at 7:10 am

        “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, 1815

        • chip javert
          Oct 7, 2017 at 9:32 pm

          Well, Napoleon had somewhat of a bias. Be interesting to know if he said this before or after Waterloo.

          Anybody who butchers over a million countrymen (Frenchmen in Napoleon’s case), plus his opponents, has some nerve blaming bankers for his problems.

    • Frederick
      Oct 7, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Nor should they They should go to the place that is the most friendly and accommodating to their business model That’s globalization by the way

      • d
        Oct 7, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        “Nor should they They should go to the place that is the most friendly and accommodating to their business model That’s globalization by the way”

        That’s not Globalisation, it exploitation and system gaming.

        Its only Globaisation when all the basic rules and standards are the same everywhere, which they are not

        Hence everybody moved jobs to china with the intent of dragging western wages and condition’s DOWN. And mostb importantly increasing their FAT PROFITS.

        Which was and is totally converse to the objectives of Globalisation which is to raise standards outside the west to match those in the west.

        Hence Globalisation is a huge failure at the current point. It advantages only china and the other Exploiters allied with it..

        The EU is Talking repeatedly “Reciprocity”, “Excessive surpluses” “Dumping” and “Promise Fatigue” in regard to china, and others. china is still talking “Free trade Globalisation” on its term’s..

        This is very nice language, for exactly complaints of the Petulant infant in Washington.

        Globalisation in its current for will be changed or rolled back. When somebody with half a brain takes control in Washington and cooperates with Europe and signs TPP. Simple..

    • Ricardo2000
      Oct 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

      So treat them as the traitors they so obviously are, by seizing their assets as the proceeds of crime, and nationalizing the bank. The skilled people are there, the facilities are there, the customers are there in Catalonia. Repudiate all obligations outside of Catalonia. Decapitate the leadership and appoint new managers, as I’m certain there are many qualified, local candidates for these jobs. Sure the bank will be much smaller, but the remnant in Spain will be smaller too. And Spanish authorities will find that cutting ties cuts both ways. When the financial system of the new state is stable, let the state sell stock in restricted amounts to the new citizens, as a means of enriching both sides.
      The EU is an empty paper bag as the organization’s credibility has never been as low as it is right now. Any political organization that won’t support the most basic human rights, even with something as weak as public denunciation, can’t be respected or trusted.

      • John
        Oct 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

        Ricardo2000,

        I’m not dense but in this heated discussion I just want to be sure when you say, “Decapitate the leadership and…” You mean “decapitate” metaphorically, right?

        • Oct 12, 2017 at 1:01 pm

          That’s how I read it. Or else I would have blocked the comment.

        • Ricardo2000
          Oct 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

          Yes, it was a metaphorical use of the word ‘decapitation’. There are too many so-called ‘bidness people’ who think their talents are irreplaceable. As someone once said, “Graveyards are full of irreplaceable people.”
          If national governments had any ethical center, they would nationalize organizations engaged in criminal activities. Repudiate stocks, bonds, golden parachutes, and all other financial obligations, and then reissue stock keeping the sale proceeds to compensate for the social damage.

  4. Tony of Ca
    Oct 6, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    The article is non-sense. These companies would probably move back tomorrow if their tax rate drop. This not going to sway people one bit. The Rubicon has been crossed.

    • Oct 7, 2017 at 12:28 am

      It seems you missed the point of the article. These companies did NOT move. They just moved their address. But the media didn’t point that out. It was an orchestrated disinformation campaign.

      But the fear of losing major employers when unemployment is already high gives people that sit on the fence plenty of second thoughts.

      • backwardsevolution
        Oct 7, 2017 at 1:06 am

        Wolf Richter – “It seems you missed the point of the article.” I feel for you, Wolf, having to correct people over and over again. Read the whole article, people!

        “In Spain it’s incredible how fast the wheels of legislation and justice can turn when the government and major corporations need them to, and how slowly they turn when senior representatives of the government or corporations suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law.”

        Yes, when they want to move slowly or don’t want to move at all, all manner of excuses are pulled out from behind the refrigerator. But when they want to block something, all of a sudden testosterone is flying everywhere.

        Citizens need to wake up and start boycotting these corporations. Show them that two can play that game.

        Thank you, Wolf Richter, for your excellent work. In a sea of confusion, your voice is very much appreciated.

        • Gershon
          Oct 7, 2017 at 7:20 am

          I second the gratitude to Wolf & Don Q for the illuminating assessments of this fast-developing situation.

          To Tony of CA: try reading for comprehension. Many Catalonians who in principle support independence might back away from that stance once they start counting the economic costs. Especially the female demographic that tends to vote for “security” even if illusory rather than accept risk and uncertainty.

          Personally, I’m convinced that most of the Catalonian independence leaders are quite prepared to sell out to Spain and the ECB; the only thing that remains to be negotiated is the price. They’re leftists, after all, and few leftists have any real principles or convictions, not to mention a lack of scruples. However, once these things start to snowball, they tend to generate centrifugal forces that can rapidly spin out of control and end up tearing the nation apart.

      • Tony of Ca
        Oct 7, 2017 at 1:39 am

        Hi Wolf, I fully understand the articles point, but I feel in today’s environment most folks simply don’t care what position a major corporation takes. In fact, it may actually further embolden the Catalonians to push for succession. The unwashed masses are developing a great dislike for Big Business and remote Government!

        • Paulo
          Oct 7, 2017 at 9:57 am

          Gershon:

          regarding statement: “They’re leftists, after all, and few leftists have any real principles or convictions, not to mention a lack of scruples. ”

          Was this sarcasm? If not…….

          Oh well, I guess Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, (The list is too long to write), were just living their lives of
          no scruples’. I guess they were just living lies to sell records. Caesar Chavez? Ginger Goodwin? Naw, they had no values.

          Now Mitt Romney, Steve Mnuchin, Lloyd Blankfein, D Trump, they’re just in the games so everyone else can thrive. Silly me. You know, all Spain needs is another Franco…that’ll fix those damn unscrupulous lefties….

          Where’s Mussolini when you need him? He’ll look after us.

        • Robert
          Oct 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm

          I’m with Tony. Furthermore, Catalonia wanted to secede in part because they felt the benefits were all going Spain’s way. I should think there would hardly be a shortage of new banking entrants into a prosperous market, all the more so if they did away with the maze of bureaucracy,corruption and bullying associated with Spain, which looks more like Franco Spain by the day.

        • Tony of Ca
          Oct 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm

          Gershon, I’m not so sure common folks these days regard major corporations as a source of economic stability.

      • d
        Oct 7, 2017 at 4:38 am

        New Zealand is frequently refereed to as “the fastest law in the west ” as with only 1 house.

        If the administration has the votes, it can and does change things, very quickly, when it wants to, it would see Spain is after the title, king, or no king.

        Yes the Move by Madrid was mostly Propaganda as job’s will not be moving any time soon.

        Madrid best start to tread very carefully. Otherwise it may also discover, much more unpleasantly than Catalonia “the power of Money”.

    • Spanky Bernanke
      Oct 8, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Tony didn’t miss the point–the article just didn’t go all the way to discuss how fewer people are listening to MSM propaganda. What we DO know is that companies will move to areas that have LESS regulations. Catalonia will have more organizations moving there–the Spanish government knew this and that is why they attempted to force fear on the new country. Spain, the EU, and the U.S. should be learning how NOT to screw up. I’m VERY concerned that our Federal government is impotent. They can’t even stop States from selling cannabis. How are they going to stop Texas, or California from leaving the Union???

  5. Wilbur58
    Oct 7, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Good riddance to the banks and major corporations. Get asset prices down. Have your own government issue its own currency and invest directly in the citizenry. Catalonia has enough food, shelter, and medical to take care of itself.

    I’m so sick of banker blackmail striking some irrational fear of economic demise into everyone. We’re already in a brutal economic demise! And if you do what folks at Caixa want you to do, things will never improve. Give me a break.

    • Gershon
      Oct 7, 2017 at 7:28 am

      The leaders of the Catalonia independence movement are pro-EU. From what I can tell they are are not nationalists in the true sense, i.e. they put the interests and aspirations of their sovereign people and nation-state ahead of those of supranational political constructs that seek to turn formerly distinct countries and peoples into Goldman Sachs looting colonies and open-borders multicultural polyglots.

    • Frederick
      Oct 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

      They have plenty of tourism revenue that’s for sure Maybe they could tax the Roma more

  6. KONSTANTINOS SP
    Oct 7, 2017 at 1:29 am

    In prisoners campuses, one of the most powerful acts of dominance is to get everybody stripped off all of their clothes…

  7. Kraig
    Oct 7, 2017 at 2:51 am

    The future of the UK as brexit nears?

  8. Cynic
    Oct 7, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Excellent article by Don Q on the way this is being misrepresented by the Spanish press (all of them, big headlines!) and the government – and boy did they move fast!

    They seem to be understanding that the genuine images of violence, particularly the lady being thrown to the ground by goons and dragged by her hair, have done considerable international damage, and in Catalonia to (they are being defensive about it now rather than boasting), and are now going for the soft spot – fear for one’s wallet.

    This may give even many among the 50% or so of committed Catalan separatists pause for thought: they haven’t been promised ‘blood, sweat and tears’ ,but renewed prosperity as the reward for breaking away.

    But here’s another thought: has this all been just a strategic feint by the separatists in order to get everyone to put all the cards on the table? Madrid, the EU, the Vatican, the UN, the big corporations, etc.

    I’m starting to think so……

    • MC
      Oct 7, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Honestly I believe this is yet another case of Brexit: nobody had any idea about what to do if things progressed beyond a failed referendum. Not Madrid, nor Barcelona and definitely not Brussels.
      Like Brexit is devolving in one of the most pathetic farces I’ve seen in my life (especially the EU’s attempts at pretending to be tough), it’s likely this thing will drag on and on for months with no solution.

      And it’s great you brought up the Vatican because I think the Catholic Church is still one of the foremost economic powers in Spain, far more powerful than most banks and hedge funds. Just the amount of prime agricultural land they own throughout Spain is enormous.
      Yet I haven’t heard so much as a single word from them, not even an offer to act as mediators in the crisis, which would be a natural act and good PR. Their silence is very telling.

      And one final musing: as I always say if a candidate promised me “blood, sweat, toil and tears” instead of an effortless cocagne (cockayne to you English speakers), I’d vote for him in a heartbeat, regardless of his manifesto.

  9. Stevedcfc72
    Oct 7, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Hi Cynic,
    Definitely think it started out as a strategic feint.

    Probably looked at what has happened in Scotland, Scotland have been given more autonomy-powers over the years even before their referendum and thought they could get the same in Spain.

    As for the banks in this case Caixabank-Sabadell, much as I dislike the banks, in this case, no win situation, they had to show some sort of action even if it was as small as moving their registered office to Spain.

    Interesting one would have been if the ECB had pulled the TRLTO funding for these banks if they had stayed registered in Catalonia.

    I think I know the answer to that even though the Euro land are calling it a ‘local situation’.

    Regards
    Steve

  10. Si
    Oct 7, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Fascism, the melding of the political and the corporate to achieve complete control.

    I bet the politicians were on the phones to all their paymasters/corporate contributors asking for help getting Catalonia back in line.

    It’ll work too (sadly).

    Next up, leaders in Catalonia ‘discovered’ to have committed financial fraud, sexual indiscretions …. whatever.

  11. marco
    Oct 7, 2017 at 6:49 am

    “Whatever it takes ” Even if it’s fascism ……

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

    ― Benito Mussolini

    • chip javert
      Oct 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      And socialism isn’t?

      • d
        Oct 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm

        People making the Fascism v Communism/Socialism Comparisons.

        Do not understand they are both flip sides of “Totalitarianism” coin. Thats a very bad coin, “Bad Penny” no matter which side you look at.

      • Wilbur58
        Oct 8, 2017 at 2:36 am

        Socialism finds the government with power and influence over banking and business. Fascism finds the banks and corporate powers that be running the government. The libertarians always fail to understand this distinction.

  12. marco
    Oct 7, 2017 at 6:51 am

    P.S. “Fascism” means the same, whether in the EU or in the USA.

    “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

    ― Benito Mussolini

  13. michael Engel
    Oct 7, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Deposits are not loans.
    If a large portion of o/s loans issued in the wealthy region of Catalonia, will default, – to punish the traitors banks, – it might be the
    spark that ignite a global financial crisis.

  14. james wordsworth
    Oct 7, 2017 at 9:12 am

    With any independence move you will have a period of upset and reset. Ultimately if governance is reasonable things will rebalance to the new equilibrium. When Quebec wanted to separate from Canada, even the Bank of Montreal moved its head office to Toronto. Did that hurt Quebec? Maybe in the short term, but ultimately Quebec has achieved much of what it wanted and the anglos no longer dominate the province.

    Catalonia may have a rough period after independence, but its population needs banking and someone will step in to serve them, and likely it will be Catalonian based. The same with companies. If Catalonia has the right people and the right business environment it will be able to compete effectively with Spain and other European countries (maybe even more effectively than before).

    Spain of course has fascist tendencies (the current ruling class being not far removed from Franco) and these have been quite evident. The techniques they are using may work short term, but every dick move is making independence more attractive to more people.

    Although I speak some Spanish and have visited Spain a couple of times, I have no dog in this fight except to say that I have a firm belief that citizens should have a right to choose who governs them (and that includes the country they live in – damn the idiocy of hiding behind an artificial constitution). I lived in Quebec and supported the right of Quebeckers to vote on their status – it was a far more civilized approach than what is being used on Spain.

  15. Xavier
    Oct 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Those who now move their legal headquarters from Catalonia already have a lot of practice establishing sites in Panama, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein and so on. Not a big trouble for them. And I presume that neither a big impact for Catalonia if we could calculate the amount of taxes already deviated by many of their significant/unknonwn customers to these offshore countries compared to the taxes that have always been paid by their plain customers in Catalonia/Spain. Let’s just remember the names of Botin or Rato.

  16. Bobber
    Oct 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

    This should make it clear that government and corporations act as one, against the larger population.

    In government, we have a million institutions and lobbyists promoting corporate interests. There is little to protect individual interests. It would take something radical to change this situation.

    I hope the separatists succeed. Governments works best at a local level, as there is better chance of government accountability. Once you throw resources in a far off federal fund, the corporate scum and scam artists go after it.

  17. John
    Oct 7, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Catalonia should “nationalize” these companies and replace management with its own. Take a page out of the US playbook.

    • robt
      Oct 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      That would be enough to cause a stampede of remaining businesses to get out. I wouldn’t describe this as the US (?!) playbook, more like Venezuela’s, with much the same result, assuming Catalonia would become a sovereign state.
      Also, though ‘wealthy’, Catalonia is responsible for 40% of Spain’s debt – default may be felt wider than the EU. Technically, Catalonia’s debt is Spain’s debt, and they’re not in the best of shape.

    • chip javert
      Oct 7, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      John

      Actually, nationalizing is more Venzeula’s playbook.

      In the USA, banks ruled insolvent (except for TBTF) have their management terminated, shareholders wiped out, and their deposits (and generally, branches & staff)”resolved” by selling to healthier banks.

      Too bad this didn’t happen to Citi & BofA back in about 2008 (their stock prices ir comparison shows investors still do not believe their risk management numbers).

  18. Cashboy
    Oct 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I am getting the impression that the people that generate the income are getting tired of subsidising the rest in the country.
    That would seem the situation of Catalan.
    I have also seen over the last 20 years that Lombardi (Northern Italian province that subsidises a lot of Italy) always talks about seperating from Italy and becoming another Canton of Switzerland.
    If Canton became independent (I can’t see how the EC or Spain would let this happen) the rest of Spain would have to be subsidised by the EC.
    The UK is going to be a major hit on the EC’s income in the future as the second largest net contributor.

    • chip javert
      Oct 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Just because Catalonia is one of the richest areas in Spain does not mean it can support itself. The EU could end up having to continue to support the whole mess (as it is now).

      None of the Spanish regions are paragons of financial stability

  19. LouisDeLaSmart
    Oct 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Don, not to be overly inquisitive, but could you help me understand how the tax system works in Spain for corporations? You have made a brief remark about paying tax to the respective province/region, and I find that in contrast to my perception of Spain as a highly centralized structure. Thanks

    • Klaus
      Oct 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Not DQ but can explain:
      Corporate income tax: ruled and collected by central government
      VAT: ruled and collected by central government
      Property tax: basic rules by central government, exact calculation by municipalities
      Stamp tax: ruled and collected by regional governments
      Tax on transfer of assets: ruled and collected by regional governments

      These last two taxes won’t be collected by Catalonia’s government on the moved companies, being the Stamp tax some €500m last year.

      So, yes. It has implications both financially, in terms of image and stating the fact that banks move acting like Catalonia would be out of the EU, unlike what secessionists have repeatedly said

  20. Sir Stressalot
    Oct 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Spain is a sinking ship. These corporations are trying to get the best cabin on the Titanic. Serbia is pissed because the kings of the EU awarded Kosovo independence without a referendum but ignore the vote of the Catalans for the same. This whole mess is nauseating.

  21. R Davis
    Oct 7, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    All this mess was so preventable.
    So why did elements / or was it vested interests let thing come to this ?
    Catalonia was once independent.
    Under Franco’s rule they were forced to comply with the dogma of the day.
    Today they are afforded, & even to educate their children in the Catalonia language – this is a threat to Spain – why should it be ? – in daily life everyone speaks Spanish. What’s more both Spain & Catalonia can only be enriched in embracing both cultures.
    So – is it that elements / vested interests beyond the man in the street have conspired to promote this conflict for their own aspirations ?
    You are the expert money man Don – can you see a conspiracy for self interest here ?

    • R Davis
      Oct 7, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Main stream News has suggested …

      The Bush lineage as possible negotiators
      His Holiness The Pope
      Some Swiss component

      There are independent, firms that offer dynamic & highly skilled negotiator, individuals & teams to cater to any & all situations.

      And we need not bother the wannabe, amateurs here. ( everyone always wants to get in on the act hey)

      • R Davis
        Oct 7, 2017 at 10:27 pm

        “Spain TEACHES Catalonia a LESSON”
        Q: what kind of talk is this … Spain is bragging prowess ?

        “3 of 7 largest homegrown corporations have left Catalonia”
        Q: was this the aim in the first place & to who’s benefit ?

        I suggest that independence is not what Catalonia want’s – but that the issue of independence has been beaten up to the fore by vested interests.
        Who would seek to destabilize the – Spanish economy – while Catalonia is not independent it is a part of the Spanish economy – are there elements within the European Union perhaps that would find a diminishes Spanish economy more comparable, pliable to their taste & needs ?
        Who ….. outside of Spain & Catalonia will benefit from this rift & corporate upheaval /
        Think big man – the ECB is looking to gobble up smaller banks to sustain their own viability & wealth.
        Is Spain the first sacrifice ?

        • R Davis
          Oct 7, 2017 at 10:45 pm

          “the perfect pickpocket routine”

          *distract the subject
          * divert the subjects attention
          * get up close & friendly
          * & cash in

        • d
          Oct 7, 2017 at 11:27 pm

          “Think big man – the ECB is looking to gobble up smaller banks to sustain their own viability & wealth.”

          You believe this is true???????????

          Cyprus was the Sacrificial test.

          The ECB “Gobbled” none of its banks.

  22. dany
    Oct 8, 2017 at 8:37 am

    great move from the banks all the multinationals and the factories should follow and relocate in others part of the spain same thing happened in canada with quebec.Tourism is going to take a big hit in Barcelona because of this situation dialogues in needed between all parties most people in catalonia don,t want to leave the country

  23. Oct 9, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Do people in the Valencia Community identify more with those from Madrid or those from Barcelona?

    How about on the various Balearic Islands? Who do the people of Majorca or Ibiza identify more with? Castillians or Catalans?

    • Klaus
      Oct 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Difficult to say. If you mean with an independent Catalonia or an united Spain…

      Valencia Community… I’d say 80%-20% for Spain (at least 70%-30%)

      Ballearic Islands… I’d say 75%-25%

      They both have strong bonds with Catalonia (they all were part of the Crown of Aragon), but both sure fear the “Catalan imperialism” as Catalans are naming the historic Crown of Aragon over 5 centuries ago as “Paisos Catalans” (Catalan Countries) when, in fact, there was a Kingdom of Valencia, a Crown of Aragon but there was never an independent Catalonia.

      They know they are next in receiving the seeds of dissent and division. Some sure would want to join Catalonia, but most don’t. As a proof, those wanting to join rarely say so openly. They know they are a minority and there is fear about it.

  24. Gershon
    Oct 9, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Claim that Catalan president is to declare “gradual independence” tomorrow…whatever that means.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-09/catalan-president-declare-gradual-independence-tuesday

  25. R Davis
    Oct 10, 2017 at 2:27 am

    “The President of Catalonia will declare independence”

    In the face of defeat ?
    In the face of personal arrest ?
    In the face of civil unrest & violence ?
    In the face of Spain taking away freedoms ?
    In the face of business / corporate / banking abandoning Catalonia ?
    I am listening to news as I write.
    The more I listen, the more I hear corruption on both parts of the equation – a deliberate plan to diminish Spanish & Catalonia.
    Sorry.

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