MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - The anti-independence Catalan Civil Society warned on Thursday of the negative consequences of Catalonia's potential secession from Spain.
"Secession would cause the Catalan GDP to drop by 7.4 - 23.5%, and unemployment would increase, reaching up to 34%," the Catalan Civil Society said in its study as quoted by the Spanish daily newspaper ABC.
According to Ferran Brunet, associate professor of European Economy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and one of the study's authors, independence will mean "economic catastrophe" for Catalonia.
The Catalan Civil Society reassured that the study is not part of the so-called "fear campaign" aimed at denouncing Catalan independence, but objective scientific findings.
On September 27, Catalan President Artur Mas signed a decree scheduling Catalonia's independence referendum for November 9. The Spanish government announced that it would block the motion by appealing to the Constitutional Court, and on September 29, the court suspended the referendum while it deliberated on its legality.
Early in October, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) stated that the Catalan independence referendum would go ahead despite the Spanish Constitutional Court's decision.
According to the poll conducted by the Metroscopia institute only 23 percent of Catalans agree with the local authorities' decision to go ahead with the referendum, with the majority thinking that it should be held on the legal basis.
Catalans have accused the Spanish government of being a drain on the region's budget and constraining its linguistic and cultural autonomy. The government in Madrid claims Catalonia benefits from the union with Spain and already enjoys a wide autonomy.