ON Monday September 21, the First Minister of Catalonia Artur Mas responded to comments made by Luis Linde Governor of the Bank of Spain earlier that day stating that they were “immoral, irresponsible and indecent”.
According to Mas this was part of a government plan to promote a climate of fear in voters who go to the polls in Catalonia on Sunday September 27 but he warned that the plan would not work.
The governor of the bank had said during a breakfast meeting in Madrid that capital controls in a newly independent Catalonia were a possibility, although he said his remarks were made in reference to a “highly unlikely future scenario”, according to a report in Europa Press. He also confirmed his opinion that an independent Catalonia would have to leave the EU.
“There are people who have power and don’t want to lose out”, said Mas in reference to Linde: “Today we have another example, the governor of the Bank of Spain. People at the service of the state who don’t want to lose power.”
The Catalan National Assembly also issued a press release on the same day, accusing Linde of “serving the interests of the Popular Party”.
It went on to raise the stakes by adding that Spain “would be forced to negotiate given that, if it did not, the new Catalan state would not assume it’s part of the Spanish state’s debt, and Catalonia would then have a debt of no more than 30 per cent of its GDP (corresponding to Catalan government debt), which would be one of the lowest in the EU, if not the lowest across the whole continent.”
In other words, threatening that in the event of secession, Catalonia would not recognise Spain’s national debt and would only resolve to settle its own unless recognised by Spain.