The Permanent Representative of the Government to the European Union, Amadeu Altafaj, attended the presentation of a European study which concludes that the economy would benefit from an independent Catalonia, whether it achieves this through a mutual agreement with Spain or through unilateral secession.
The academic paper is a CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs) and CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies) joint-publication and was produced in collaboration with the Istituto di Studi for Integrazione dei Sistemi of Rome and E3-Modelling laboratory of the Polytechnic University of Athens. "The lack of investment in infrastructure and human capital are factors that show that even if independence is not mutually agreed on it is more beneficial than the current situation", explained Rym Ayadi, the project’s research director at CEPS. "It is true that there would be early losses but in the long term a unilateral break [from Spain] would lead to a better economic outlook", she added.
During the project’s presentation at the European Parliament, the principal investigators of each the research centers involved were able to intervene to further explain and contextualize the paper. In this respect, Marc Gafarot, from Barcelona’s CIDOB, asserted that "in times of so much discussion, this study provides substantial economic vision that will serve as a tool for debate".
Moreover, Ayadi affirmed that the current model "is unsustainable at a macroeconomic level due to the high and constant fiscal deficit". The project’s research director, who is also Professor at HEC Montreal, explained that between 2015 and 2030 the economy of an independent Catalonia's would grow by an average of 3.27%. An independent Catalonia would, according to the study, also see its unemployment rate drop by three points and observe and overall increase in salaries. Furthermore, Ayadi explained that in the case of a mutually agreed secession between Catalonia and Spain through an orderly and planned out manner, putting an end to political and economic disputes (derived from an agreed debt negotiation), the negative risks of uncertainty on both sides would see a sharp decline.
Entitled "Scenarios of Macro-economic Development for Catalonia on Horizon 2030. Economic effects of a potential secession of Catalonia from Spain and paths for integration with the EU", the study is based on a model that compares Catalonia with eleven other countries and regions in the world and considers thirty-five different economic variables. It examines economic performance in three scenarios: the status quo, in which nothing changes; an agreed process of independence with Spain, with a negotiated transition; and a process of unilateral independence, unplanned nor agreed with the Spanish central government.
The last part of the study assesses the possible cooperation scenarios of the new Catalan state with the European Union, both in its present institutional framework and in a scenario which includes a reform of European institutions.
The event was also attended by MEPs Ramon Tremosa (ALDE), Ernest Maragall and Josep Maria Terricabras (Greens / EFA).
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