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    Catalan President Carles Puigdemont sings the Catalan anthem inside the parliament after a vote on independence in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

    'Catalonia Could Be Foundation for What Will Happen Across the EU' - Economist

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    As the Catalan regional parliament voted to declare independence from Spain on October 27, the effect was immediately felt by Madrid's financial market, with investors selling stocks and government bonds. Sputnik spoke to a leading economist about the possible link between the 2008 financial crash and the growth of independence movements in the EU.

    The value of the Ibex 35 index of some of Spain's largest companies dropped by 1.45% in comparison to trading the very same morning, after the Catalan parliament voted for the declaration of independence on Friday afternoon, October 27.

    Sputnik spoke to top economist Jonathan Davis from Jonathan Davis Wealth Management on the financial implications of the declaration on the economies of both Spain and Catalonia,

    Sputnik: Economically, where does this leave Catalonia and Spain?

    Jonathan Davis: It doesn't leave it any different really because the business will still continue whatever business it is. No doubt Spain will take away some civil service work and public sector work but ultimately if — and this is the big issue — if the Catalan government are pro-free market, and I actually don't know the answer to that, then it will suck in business, manufacturers, internet companies, global companies by the barrel full, who will want to do trade on a free market basis.

    The reason why Catalonia wants to leave Spain whether or not it actually happens, is exactly the reason why in Britain we've voted for Brexit, why the Americans voted for Trump, because the people are fed up with what governments and socialists are doing to us. So hopefully Catalonia will be the foundation for what will happen right across the EU, governments will see that they've got to amend their ways.

    Sputnik: We've seen quite a large ripple of independence movements across Europe recently, does this have anything to do with the 2008 financial crisis?

    Jonathan Davis: Well it's the aftermath of the economic crash, it's not the crash itself, I mean the crash itself was just capitalism doing its thing, we have booms and we have busts. Unfortunately, for the last nine years and it started probably in the ten years before that, ultimately it got to 2008, we've just had encroaching socialism and government intervention and in the last nine years what we've had of course, is zero interest rates, bank bailouts, by the hundreds of billions.

    A woman reacts while the Catalan regional parliament votes for independence of Catalonia from Spain in Barcelona
    © REUTERS / Yves Herman
    A woman reacts while the Catalan regional parliament votes for independence of Catalonia from Spain in Barcelona

    I mean Europe should be in the central bank doing 700 billion euros a year of free money to the banking system, the people are fed up. The crash itself actually, wasn't even as much of a crash as it should have been, because the governments and central banks stepped in and saved the billionaires and the bankers from being less wealthy and the people are finally waking up to what is going on.

    It's the elite against everyone else and that is why. If you take for example, UK statistics, and I'm sure that there is a broadly similar rate across the EU, and certainly across the US, in the last nine years whatever growth there's been, has gone to the top five percent, and if you look at earnings against inflation in the last twenty years, the bottom 60 percent are either where they were twenty years ago, or have gone backwards, whereas the top forty percent are now, and particularly the top ten percent, jumped forward.

    The people are finally waking up.

    Leftist CUP party members applaud during a ceremony after the Catalan regional parliament declared independence from Spain in Barcelona, Spain
    © REUTERS / Rafael Marchante
    Leftist CUP party members applaud during a ceremony after the Catalan regional parliament declared independence from Spain in Barcelona, Spain

    Sputnik: Do you think people have seen for example the UK going for Brexit, making that bid for freedom, do you think that's inspired the people of Catalonia?

    Jonathan Davis: Well wouldn't that be wonderful, if it's true, I couldn't say but what we know is that there are separatist movements right across the EU, but in Spain I mean, let's face it, Franco brought Spain together as it is today, and the Basques and the Catalonians… I mean if anything was going to happen in terms of separatism, it's been brewing for decades, I wouldn't say specifically that Brexit is the cause, but if it's helped, then power too it. 

    Sputnik: What about the economic debris that will come from Catalonia, do you think that sparked Mariano Rajoy to really intervene because he was worried about the economic state of Spain and Catalonia?

    Jonathan Davis: The economic state of the strongest economic region in Spain? No, I mean Rajoy is intervening — to use your term — because he can't stand the idea of his country breaking up under his watch, especially given that he reports to Brussels, and let's remember, Brussels are unelected bureaucrats, and where has the EU been in all of this?

    The EU which spouts human rights and treating the people fairly, well we all saw the videos of how the police and the army attacked the people of Catalonia during the referendum, so no there has been no treating the people fairly.

    The EU has kept its mouth shut, they are entirely hypocritical as usual, so as I say I know they've declared independence, it's a bit like Brexit, we've declared that we are going to leave, we haven't left yet and let's see whether or not Catalonia actually leaves Spain. I certainly hope that it does, and good luck to it if it does.


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    Brexit, financial crisis, stock market, independence, economy, 2017 Catalan independence referendum, 2008 Global Economic Crisis, European Union, Europe, Madrid, Catalonia, United Kingdom, Spain
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