Spain economy to grow above 3% this year despite Catalonia crisis- Economy Minister

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10:  Pro- independence supporters react after  Catalan President Carles Puigdemont announced he will abide by the independence vote as they watch on big screens outside the Parliament of Catalunya as the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks on October 10, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. After the October 1 referendum and weeks of build up Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont addressed the Catalan Parliament where he acknowledged that his people voted for independence however suspended the declaration of independence for a few weeks, to have a reasonable dialogue, and mediation with the Spanish state.  (Photo by Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 10: Pro- independence supporters react after Catalan President Carles Puigdemont announced he will abide by the independence vote as they watch on big screens outside the Parliament of Catalunya as the Catalan President Carles Puigdemont speaks on October 10, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. After the October 1 referendum and weeks of build up Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont addressed the Catalan Parliament where he acknowledged that his people voted for independence however suspended the declaration of independence for a few weeks, to have a reasonable dialogue, and mediation with the Spanish state. (Photo by Etienne De Malglaive/Getty Images)

Spanish Economy Minister Luis De Guindos said on Thursday he sees economic growth of just above 3 percent this year despite a secession bid by the wealthy northeastern region of Catalonia.

The government currently forecasts the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy to grow 3% this year, but the standoff with Catalonia over its independence ambitions has prompted Madrid to slash growth projections for next year.

 De Guindos told Cadena Ser radio that if the government’s plan to impose direct rule in Catalonia went well, he hoped to return to debate and pass the 2018 budget in the next few weeks.

 The minister added he could not rule out some resistance in Catalonia over the government’s plan from the region, but was convinced regional civil servants would collaborate.

 

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