Great Reboot

Spain 2018 economic growth forecast at risk due to Catalonia: deputy PM

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at preserved food in a Carrefour supermarket in Cabrera de Mar, near Barcelona, Spain May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish economy could grow less than initially expected in 2018 due to uncertainty over Catalonia, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sainz de Santamaria said on Friday.

The wealthy region’s intention to break away after a referendum has plunged Spain into its worst political crisis since an attempted military coup in 1981.

“The events that we are experiencing in Catalonia make us more prudent,” Sainz de Santamaria said after the weekly cabinet meeting.

“In fact, if there were no quick solution to this issue we should be forced to lower expectations of economic growth for the year 2018,” she said.

The government expects Spain’s economy to grow 2.6 percent in 2018.

The deputy prime minister also said that hotel reservations in Catalonia were currently falling 20 percent to 30 percent.

Reporting by Paul Day and Robert Hetz; Writing by Jesús Aguado; Editing by Paul Day