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The Spanish government's economic offensive against Catalan independence has seen a burst of activity today with comments from deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría claiming that Catalonia could be about to enter into recession, blaming the Catalan government and president Puigdemont.

The deputy prime minister also alleged that "a dramatic fall in tourism" has been seen, stating a 20% fall in hotel reservations, saying that the Catalan government "is creating all the conditions for a sharp deceleration".

According to the latest reports from Idescat (Institute of Statistics of Catalonia), however, Santamaría's claims don't match reality. Idescat's data shows no affects from recent events in Catalonia on the arrival of tourists, including the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August. That month, despite the tragic events, both the number of incoming tourists and their spending increased, 2.3% and 9.9% respectively. In other words, no fall is recorded, in fact the opposite.

"Hasty" data

No official statistics have yet been released after the growth seen in August. As such, Catalan Economy Department sources have described Santamaría's statements as "hasty" and "not robust". "It's greatly irresponsible to create economic instability, both in Catalonia and in Spain", say the same sources, as the deputy prime minister's assertions that hotel reservations have fallen and that foreign investment has too, by 10%, are not supported by any official statistics, they're only "expectations".

"It's not serious for a government to state data that isn't yet finalised and which could harm many people in various sectors," say the sources; it's "the opposite of what a government should do".

Good views

Santamaría's apocalyptic announcement contrasts with the better outlook hinted at by other reports this Friday, like Barcelona being awarded the World Travel Award for Europe's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination 2017 and the restatement by the Mobile World Congress of their commitment to Barcelona until at least 2023.