Country Risk

Catalan referendum will not deliver independence, but centre-region stresses will not abate through 2017–18

29 September 2017

Key Points

  • The Catalan government is unlikely to cancel the referendum as, among other things, the Spanish government's attempts to prevent it have strengthened the plebiscite's popular support.
  • Instead of delivering independence, Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont will use a likely "yes" vote to exert pressure on future negotiations with the Spanish government.
  • At the national level, IHS Markit expects some main opposition parties to demand that the government change its strategy towards Catalonia and initiate a reform of Spain's territorial model


The Catalan government is likely to proceed with the 1 October independence referendum despite the Spanish government's attempts to prevent it; the referendum is likely to result in a majority "yes" vote and further regional challenges to the central Spanish state.

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