Last weekend’s Catalan elections returned perhaps the most difficult-to-read result. Judging by the overall support for separatist parties, there was significant support for at least a referendum on independence. Yet the largest separatist party, the centrist Convergència i Unió, saw its majority in the regional parliament slashed, forcing it to seek a coalition. Read more
Catalonia’s regional election on Sunday delivered a big victory for the separatist movement — but a more fragmented one than had been expected. Four separatist parties won 87 of the regional parliament’s 135 seats. The ruling CiU party didn’t do so well, losing 12 seats to hold 50. This was much lower than polls had suggested, and follows a battle between supporters and opponents of independence that has become increasingly bitter, as the allegations against Artur Mas last week illustrated.
As the FT’s Miles Johnson reports, the vote brings the prospect of a stronger push for Catalan independence. Regardless of the CiU’s own performance, the surge in support for smaller separatist parties raises the big question of what this means for heavily-indebted Catalonia, and for Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy. Read more
The Catalan elections are on Sunday, and perhaps unsurprisingly there’s been an escalation of tensions ahead of the vote. The question is how this might benefit the CiU, the main separatist party. Read more
The people of Catalonia go to the polls on Sunday. Although it’s just a regional election, the vote is seen as a key gauge of the Catalan independence movement’s strength. And the latest indications are that Catalans are less keen on going it alone as the election day draws nearer. Read more
Most commentary on Catalonian nationalism dwells on whether this is something that’s going to have implications outside of Spain. How worried should we really be if the Catalans get a bit more fiscal autonomy or even independence? But the Catalan debate actually raises a much bigger question that goes right down to the essence of the eurozone as it stands, namely if Catalonia is unprepared to subsidize Spain’s poorer regions, why should northern Europe do so? Read more
Spain has been grabbing the headlines all this week and while it may be Friday afternoon, the excitement isn’t over just yet. Moody’s is widely expected to announce whether it’s going to downgrade Spain’s Baa3 credit rating (possibly to junk) Friday after the European markets close. Oliver Wyman’s second audit of the country’s banking system should come out around the same time.
Ahead of all that we wanted to talk you through a quick recap of the latest developments because, as UBS strategist Justin Knight rightly points out, “the areas of concern are now becoming numerous” and it’s making the question of when Spain might request aid increasingly complex. Read more
Catalonia’s dreams of running its own airline crashed over the weekend after the indebted Spanish region was forced to cut loose Spanair, its loss making domestic carrier, leaving thousands stranded in airports across the country, the FT reports. Spanair, Spain’s fifth-largest carrier by passengers, will this week file for bankruptcy protection after grounding flights on Friday as a last-ditch attempt by the Catalan government to secure investment from Qatar failed. An estimated 22,000 passengers have been affected by the collapse, and more than 2,000 employees will lose their jobs at a time when the country’s jobless rate last week rose to 5.27m, or almost 23 per cent. Spanair, created in mid-1980s by SAS, the Scandinavian airline, was taken over by the Catalan state in 2009 as part of a drive by the region’s government at the time to secure the Barcelona El Prat airport’s status as an aviation hub to rival Madrid’s Barajas. Bloomberg reports this is the first collapse of a scheduled European airline since the last recession.
Now here are some rather interesting developments in the Spanish banking arena this week.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported how Spain’s autonomous region Catalonia has been completely frozen out of the lending market since about March. Read more