Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more

FOCUS

The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more

S&P warns of Catalan recession if crisis drags

© AFP | Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by Catalan Civil Society under the motto "Catalonia yes, Spain too" in Barcelona on October 12, 2017

MADRID (AFP) - 

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Thursday warned that the crisis over Catalan independence from Spain could push the region into recession.

"We do not believe that Catalan independence will occur," S&P's chief rating officer Moritz Kramer said in a statement as the agency underlined the potential fallout from prolonged uncertainty over the fate of one of Spain's most prosperous regions.

"The tensions between Catalonia and the central government, if unchecked, could lead to a sustained drop in business confidence and potential business disruption," said S&P credit analyst Elena Iparraguirre.

Spain is undergoing its most serious political emergency in a generation after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said the region had declared independence following a banned October 1 referendum on secession.

But he immediately suspended the declaration, calling for more time for talks with Madrid.

The government has vowed to block Catalan secession and the country faces a period of profound political and legal uncertainty if Puigdemont pushes ahead with his efforts to split from Spain.

"We believe that under such an adverse political and economic scenario, Catalonia would almost certainly bear the heaviest impact, possibly leading to a sharp slowdown, and maybe even a recession," S&P said.

A region of 7.5 million people, Catalonia is one of Spain's economic workhorses but its deep debt levels make it entirely reliant on Madrid to borrow internationally.

Several listed companies have already moved their headquarters -- though not their employees -- out of the region.

S&P and Fitch both said last week they considering lowering Catalonia's credit rating.

© 2017 AFP