Madrid's bourse underperformed its peers for another session as the ongoing crisis in Catalonia continued to take its toll. As Ciara Lee reports, the country's banks in particular are feeling the impact as the Spanish government urges Catalans to accept it's decision to dismiss their secessionist leadership.
Spain's biggest political crisis in decades is entering a decisive week. The government in Madrid has urged Catalans to accept it's decision to dismiss their secessionist leadership And impose direct rule over the region. Madrid's use of special constitutional powers is unprecedented and has angered both sides of the debate. It's could also inflame unrest. And bring economic chaos to a region that makes up a fifth of Spain's economy. (SOUNDBITE) English SENIOR MARKETS ANALYSTS, OANDA, CRAIG ERLAM SAYING: "Catalonia is effectively Spain's biggest growth region and the uncertainty is always going to have negative implications for the economy as a whole. This is potentially a sign that if things were to deteriorate further, and should Catalonia get independence, which seems very unlikely, then it will just call into doubt just how irreversible the euro is." Catalonia's foreign affairs spokesman says the EU must intervene or risk losing credibility. (SOUNDBITE) English SENIOR MARKETS ANALYSTS, OANDA, CRAIG ERLAM SAYING: "While these referendums are effectively a call for more sovereignty. The last thing the EU wants to do is get involved wherever possible and weigh in on another country's sovereignty, and effectively make the situation worse." Spain's markets are showing signs of strain. While global stocks hit record highs Madrid's benchmark IBEX fell 0.5 percent, with bank's taking the biggest hit. BBVA was down 1.4 pct and Banco Santander 1.3 percent Hundreds of companies have already shifted their headquarters outside the region And Madrid has made downward revisions to its economic forecasts. A vote in the Senate to implement direct rule is due on Friday.