Stiglitz: “An Independent Catalonia Outside the Euro Would be Viable”

The following is a translated excerpt from an article by El Economista

Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz said today that Catalonia would be economically viable if it were independent, although its sovereignty would have “very important” political consequences throughout Europe.

Iceland is the example he gave of how a very small country can be viable outside the Euro even though it is within Europe. Catalonia is much larger than Iceland, but it could follow its example, since its independence from Spain would in turn mean its exit from the euro. Having a currency of its own should allow a quick recovery of competitiveness and trade balance.

Stiglitz, who visited Barcelona to promote his latest book, “The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe”, has said that in today’s globalized environment it is “easier” for small countries to operate independently.

As an example of this he cited Iceland, a country that is ten times smaller than Catalonia and which “is doing relatively well with its own currency”.

“Thanks to this it has recovered better and faster from the crisis,” he said at a press conference at Barcelona’s Palau Macaya.

By a similar logic, no one today thinks that Canada would be better off if it were integrated into the United States, the economist added.

Therefore, regarding the question of whether an independent Catalonia would be viable economically, Stiglitz stated: “In the current market context, I think that an independent Catalonia would be very feasible.”

Another thing, he stressed, would be the political consequences of this decision, both for Spain and for the whole of Europe, since a possible independence of Catalonia would result in the reorganization of nation-states that were born in the nineteenth century.

“This would have very serious consequences for these states,” said Stiglitz, who also questioned whether a Europe with many more members than at present would be able to function properly and be manageable.

The book “The euro: How the common currency threatens the future of Europe” has been published in Catalan by Edicions 62 and in Spanish by Taurus. In it Stiglitz analyzes how the global financial crisis evolved in 2010 into the euro crisis, where we still are, and how this situation has put the future of Europe at risk

Continue reading the article (in Spanish)

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