MADRID, March 15 (UPI) -- Those seeking independence for the Spanish region of Catalonia do not understand the consequences, a Madrid think tank said Friday.
The region with Barcelona as its largest city has a considerable degree of autonomy. The Institute of Economic Studies predicted that Catalonia, if it cuts its monetary and political ties to Spain, would experience inflation and economic decline, ThinkSpain reported.
Catalunya, as the region is known in the Catalan language, would no longer belong to the European Union if it leaves Spain and would be unable to get economic aid, the Institute said. It predicted a 50 percent loss in value of its currency.
While tariffs would be imposed on goods imported and exported from the region, Catalunya would also be responsible for its share of Spain's national debt. The Institute put the amount at 150 billion euros ($200 billion).
"They do not know what they are doing," the institute said of those arguing independence would help the Catalan economy.
Under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the Catalan language was banned from government and the nationalist movement suppressed. It has grown since his death in 1975.