Surely it would have been better for this intense wish for independence to have been acted upon during the good times. But then, there wasn’t time, as everyone was too busy on a feeding frenzy!
The push for independence predates the financial crisis by several years. That said, the crisis has provided a platform for opportunistic politicians to push for independence, in part, to cover their own limitations. I believe that Mas has backed-away a bit, saying that because EU membership is not guaranteed, independence from Spain is very difficult to obtain at this time.
Catalan will not be allowed into the EU, period. No other country will be willing to allow countries to sub-divide and dump the liability for the country’s debts onto them.
For instance, the UK could decide to split into 50 counties and demand a vote for each one. All the debt could be piled onto say, Humberside and the rest of the un-united Kingdom of Counties can declare themselves debt free states.
Its fantasy land, countries like Finland will not accept Catalans pulling a stunt like this.
Remember, EU entry of a new member can be vetoed by any single state and I doubt they have to publish who vetoed. Turkey spent a decade trying to gain entry and it simply never happened. Most countries have seperatists who will try and pull the same stunt so they will veto anything that allows it.
Cataluña could take it’s debt with it, leave the euro, re-denominate the debt into it’s new currency, and then devalue. It it wants, Cataluña could then join the euro later on when the debt has been devalued. In fact all the autonomas could do this and solve Spain’s debt problem. Spain’s central government will still be left with some debt, but then again, Spain would no longer exist as a state so they could just walk away. Economically it’s feasible. Politically it isn’t.