De Guindos Says Catalonia’s Independence Push Is Doomed

By Maria Tadeo, Francine Lacqua, and Rodrigo Orihuela

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos ruled out any sort of mediated talks with separatist leaders and said Catalan banks have signaled they may move out of the region if the push for independence continues.

Speaking on Thursday in a Bloomberg Television interview, de Guindos slammed the Catalonia’s administration for its illegal actions and said independence is out of the question. Spain has nothing to discuss with the secessionists until rule of law is restored, he said. The instability in the region may persuade Catalan banks to shift out of the region, he added.

“They have indicated that if this process goes on, they are totally open to relocating their headquarters to other places in Spain,” de Guindos said. “This is a clear indication of how insane is the regional government of Catalonia.”

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on Wednesday night called for outside mediators to help broker a settlement with the Spanish government and said the regional government in Barcelona will soon apply the results of Sunday’s makeshift vote. He stopped short of saying how or when he would trigger the process to leave Spain.

“This is not a question of arbitration or mediation, it is a question of a government that has to enforce the law,” de Guindos said. “There is nothing to negotiate without the full respect of the rule of law.”

— With assistance by Ben Sills, Todd White, Esteban Duarte, and Charles Penty


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