The slight slowing down in the Catalan economy predicted for 2018 will not have anything to do with either the sovereignty process nor political instability, as some voices have been more than eager to proclaim, in actual fact, it has been on the cards for over a year. Most importantly, the possible braking effect on the economy will demonstrate the persistence of Catalonia’s main economic problems. We must not forget that independence is not simply a demand, as analysts heavily underscore, due to Catalans hating Spain, but rather a means of solving economic -and social- problems that year after year, Spain cannot, or will not, solve.
The main problem at the moment in Catalonia is unemployment and the structural workforce. While it is true that our unemployment rate is lower than that of Spain, it is still too high in relation to the advanced European average. Our unemployment level exists because there are still many inefficiencies in the labour market. Catalonia continues to be strong in exports, but it would be better off if it had a more modern and efficient infrastructure. As for the Mediterranean corridor, for years Madrid has claimed the project is one of its priorities, but without the metropolis ever finding either the time or the budget to complete. As well, Madrid could also initiate policies that would back the development of an area of employment that in fact does have a future, that is, knowledge-based enterprise.
It seems surprising that some Catalan employers are being enticed towards Spain, despite the fact that Madrid’s propaganda announces decrees which will facilitate their relocation when it is obvious that the State is incapable of solving theses accumulated problems which the Catalan Republic, freed of boycotts and without any sticks in the wheels, would be able to solve alone.