A man holds an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) and a pro-referendum flag as he arrives at a closing rally in favour of the banned October 1 independence referendum in Barcelona, Spain September 29, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

Analysis, largely in line with what Asia Unhedged is reading in Barcelona-based press, says that Catalan independence leaders are likely to issue only a symbolic declaration of independence in the coming weeks, if not as early as tomorrow.

Political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group notes that a number of large Catalan firms have moved legal and tax residences outside of the autonomous region, with more likely to follow suit. The move was led by Catalonia’s largest credit institutions – Caixabank and Banco Sabadell – entities with significant exposure to the risk of secession jeopardizing access to the eurosystem. The departure had duel motivations of shoring up stock valuations and adding pressure to separatists to reevaluate their strategy.

Regional president Carles Puigdemont is sensitive to such economic concerns, which is one reason for dragging his heels with any concrete steps to officially declare independence.

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