PRIME Minister Mariano Rajoy has said 500,000 jobs would be created if the Catalunya region returns to ‘normality’.

He added that the country’s economy would grow a third faster than currently predicted if order is restored after the regional elections next month.

It comes after Madrid lowered its GDP growth forecast for 2018 from 2.6% to 2.3% last month as the Catalan situation reached crisis point.

“If this calms down, the economy could grow five or six tenths more next year,” Rajoy said in an interview on Cope radio yesterday.

Spain has been growing at 3% per year since 2015 and is expected to reach 3.0% again this year.

The impressive figures make it one of the fastest growing economies in the Eurozone.

But since the Catalan independence referendum and the ongoing constitutional crisis, the economic outlook has taken a beating.

Some 2,400 companies have moved their headquarters out of Catalunya, the country’s wealthiest region.

The regional elections will take place on December 21.

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