PM hopes Catalan intervention will be brief

PM hopes Catalan intervention will be brief

PM hopes Catalan intervention will be brief

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the government’s plans to take unprecedented control of Catalonia’s key affairs and halt that region’s push for independence are “exceptional” and he hopes they will not last long.

Rajoy told parliament yesterday that the application of the Constitution’s Article 155 is the “only possible” response to restore the region’s legality, which he said has been liquidated by Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s push to secede.

He also said that he hopes the measures planned, including the sacking of Puigdemont’s government and curtailment of Catalan parliament’s powers, will be brief, adding that they should end with regional elections that he hopes can be held as soon as possible but only once law and order is restored.

Meanwhile, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said yesterday that an independent Catalonia would be forced out of the European Union and euro area which would directly hurt the regional economy.

“It’d be out of all the treaties, 70 percent of its gross domestic product would be subject to tariffs and physical borders. It would be out of the euro zone and the banks wouldn’t have ECB coverage ... it would have to create its own currency which would be very depreciated,” he told parliament yesterday.

Such a depreciation would lead to an estimated 25-30 percent drop in regional economic growth, elevated inflation and a doubling of unemployment rates, he said.

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