The business world has been watching with concern the separatist drift of Catalonia in recent years, and the escalation of tension in recent days, following the illegal referendum that was held on Sunday and the images of the police facing down those people who wanted to vote, as well as the intention to declare independence by the Catalan leaders.
Not surprisingly, as Valencian President, Ximo Puig has expressed his concern on numerous occasions as Catalonia is the main internal market for many Valencian companies, both when it comes to selling and buying.
Uncertainty about the future of Catalonia, and the hypothetical scenario of a break with Spain or an eventual imposition of tariffs would leave 17% of the sales of Valencian companies up in the air.
The president of the Alicante Chamber of Commerce, Juan Riera , said that there is a “deep concern” among the business community in the province, because “what we want is legal security and trust” to be able to carry out our work and to continue with our economic development. “If you do not have that scenario, it’s difficult to operate because uncertainty is the biggest brake on investments.” Thus, the main fear of the businessmen of Alicante is that the separatist drift puts their preferential commercial relationship at risk with their neighbours to the north.
Francisco Gómez, president of the employers’ association of Alicante, Coepa , and the association of family businesses Aefa , says that “we are very concerned about the issue, because we do not know how much we will be affected.” The businessman points out that “capital is very sensitive, and situations like this can make you withdraw, and they will affect the economy very significantly” especially “when we were in a period of sustained growth”.
A very similar statement was made on Tuesday by the president of Mercadona , the Valencian Juan Roig , when he said that what companies want is “tranquility” in order to carry out their business and generate wealth. “The politicians have to solve this problem with dialogue and understanding,” said Roig. ” It’s a very serious problem and you have to deal with it. As a Spaniard I feel ver worried and scared for the future.”