Speaking before a plenary session of the Catalan Parliament this morning, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said Catalonia’s economic situation – not just in the last year, but in the last five – proves that “defending Catalonia’s rights and freedoms is compatible with being a nation of opportunities and progress”.
“This is the key thing and the reality that wilfully partisan visions come up against when they seek to paint an apocalyptic picture of Catalonia’s economic situation. Because the figures are absolutely clear,” he said.
During the control session, in response to a question from the parliamentary group Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), the head of the government said: “This is a nation on the move, a nation that’s ready. And it’s our citizens and entrepreneurs who can take credit for that.” President Torra stressed several points to make the case that the economy is performing well. First, the Financial Times has singled out Catalonia as the southern European region with the greatest capacity to attract investment. Second, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) forecasts that the Catalan economy will grow 2.2% this year and continue growing at a rate of 2% next year. And third, 47% of Catalan business owners are planning to hire more staff this year, and 80% expect higher sales.
In response to a question from the Ciutadans
(Citizens) group, the president also decried “the boycott that the Spanish government initiated when it ordered the withdrawal of deposits”
from Catalan financial institutions. He said he agreed with the president of PIMEC (which represents Catalan SMEs and micro-enterprises), who said companies should return to Catalonia if they wish to but should not receive any tax incentives for doing so. “No one – apart from the Spanish state – has trampled anyone’s rights here,”
the president concluded.