The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, José Luis Bonet, warned today that if the situation of "anomaly" in Catalonia continues, the regional economy will continue to deteriorate, although he pointed out that the impact so far "is not a catastrophe".
Something more than a year after the illegal referendum on October 1, Bonet considers that the economic impact of the Catalan crisis on companies and the regional economy is "negative", but "it is not a catastrophe at this time".
"The Catalan economy continues to grow, but it has lost the relevance and leadership it deserves within Spain and now it is in the peloton, and, as the anomaly continues, it will continue to deteriorate," he argued in statements to the media before participate in a meeting with about 800 businessmen in the European Parliament in Brussels.
He added that this will mean a decline in welfare for the Catalans and a detriment to the whole of Spain.
Regarding the effect of the Catalan crisis on the image of its economy in the world, Bonet distinguished, on the one hand, the perception of institutions, governments and companies and, on the other, that of public opinion.
In his opinion, institutions and states "are very clear that this is an anomaly and therefore nobody supports it", while companies "see clearly that there will be no independence" but they do fear a "deterioration" that "can have consequences of various kinds. "
Regarding public opinion, however, he considered that "the pro-independence world has abused its position so that public opinion is divided."
The president of the Chamber of Commerce called to do "the reflection of necessary concord" so that Catalonia "regains its position".
In this regard, said to share the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, that the constitutional framework, statutes and the law "must be respected one hundred percent and then dialogue, evidently to progress."
Bonet highlighted the "providential" role that the European Union has played in Spain by helping economically, for example, through regional funds, the European Investment Bank or the European Central Bank.
"Therefore, this has to end with obvious conclusions, which is to continue working for more Europe (…) making Europe an interlocutor in the world, which would not be if the different national states are closed in themselves as there are some who pretend, I think wrongly, "he said.
As for the "brexit" Bonet considered that an agreement will be reached before the departure date of the United Kingdom (March 2019) to be "as bad as possible" and that, in any case, "Spanish companies are leaving to adapt to whatever comes. "
Regarding the US tariffs on steel and aluminum, he said that they still do not have an exact calculation of the impact for Spanish companies, but that "we must try to minimize it".
In this sense, he added that the "protectionist rackets" in some countries "will not prevent globalization from continuing".