Ambassador Costos’ words on Catalonia Independence

Date: 01.07.2014

Source: CNA

US ambassador to Spain says American companies would “make adjustments” to adapt to an independent Catalonia

Ambassador_costos_official-301x376The United States Ambassador to Spain, James Costos, said on Tuesday that American companies would “make adjustments” to adapt to a hypothetical independent Catalonia. “The United States, my embassy, my team, the business community, American companies are watching this and are of course interested in what the outcome will be”, he said, referring to the political situation in Catalonia, where the government is planning to hold a referendum of independence on the 9th of November.

The American ambassador said that the situation in Catalonia is “an internal question” of Spain, but admitted that they are following the process “to see what happens”. “My position has always been that, in any business, as people look into the future, things change, and the economic environment changes”, he said.

Costos added that businesspeople need to “have a look at things that are coming down the pike and take decisions based on that”. The US ambassador admitted that “if things change” in Catalonia, American companies “will make adjustments accordingly”. He did not mention, however, what kind of adjustments.

The ambassador avoided commenting on the economic consequences of independence, and, unlike the Spanish government, he did not warn of any potential business risks in case of separation. In January, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, also rejected commenting on the political situation in Catalonia. In a press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the White House, Obama avoided the issue. However, in June the US president intervened in the Scottish debate, saying that he would prefer a “strong and united” United Kingdom.

Later that day, the US ambassador said his words had been misunderstood. In a tweet, Costos said: “Unfortunate that some have misinterpreted my statement of longstanding U.S. policy on Catalonia – an internal matter for Spain”.

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