• The spokesman of radical left pro-independence CUP’s national secretariat, Quim Arrufat, during an interview to the CNA (by ACN)

    Legal “disconnection” from Spain to start only after a ‘Yes’ victory, says CUP

    The laws for “disconnecting” Catalonia from Spain will not become effective unless the ‘Yes’ to independence wins the 2017 referendum. The spokesman of radical left pro-independence CUP’s national secretariat, Quim Arrufat, said in an interview with the Catalan News Agency that “no step forward will be made unless it is supported through the ballot boxes”. According to Arrufat, all the disconnection laws (the Legal Transition, the Catalan Tax Office and the Social Security System regulations) will have a clause that will impede them from entering into force if the ‘No’ to independence achieves a majority in the referendum. The politician focused on the legal transition law, which foresees the process for the Autonomous Community of Catalonia to become an independent state. He specified that the regulation will be applied in two steps, as part of the law will have to become effective before the referendum in order to call it even if the Spanish Government blocks it. The other clauses would only come into force in case of a pro-independence majority in the referendum.

The delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, making a statement during his visit to the command headquarters of the Guardia Civil in Catalonia on the 30th of November 2016 (by ACN) 

Spain may contest referendum budget allocations

The legal services of the State Attorney are already “studying” the impugnation of the Catalan Government’s draft budget for 2017, which includes an allocation of €5.8 million to guarantee that the independence referendum scheduled for September will be carried out. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, who stated that this part of the accounts “could be challenged” in the near future by the Spanish state. Furthermore, Millo believes that the allocation could be annulled by the Spanish Constitutional Court, which may consider it to derive from the Declaration of the 9-N symbolic vote, which has already been declared unconstitutional. The delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia believes that this budget “doesn’t contribute” to the relationship between the Catalan Government and the Spanish one. However, he reiterated his “outstretched hand for dialogue” and confirmed he will be meeting with the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, this Friday. 

The director of REC Festival in Tarragona, Xavier Garcia Puerto, intervening between the Catalan cinema director Maria Ripoll (right) and the director of CaixaFòrum Tarragona, Glòria Olivé (left) (by aCN)

Tarragona hosts the most international edition of the REC Film Festival yet

The film ‘Lluvia en los Zapatos’ (‘Rain in the shoes’) by the Catalan director Maria Ripoll, will officially inaugurate the REC International Film Festival in Tarragona (southern Catalonia) this Thursday. In its sixteenth and most international edition yet, the REC International Film Festival seeks not only to introduce “new voices and talents” to the Catalan audience, but also to project Tarragona outward “as a generator of content”, the director of the event, Xavier Garcia Puerto said. From this Thursday and until the 6th of December the Festival will screen some twenty films from eleven different countries, five of which are premieres in Spain and eleven in Catalonia. 

Spanish Government Vice President and Minister for Territorial Administrations, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by ACN)

Spanish Government reiterates its wish for “dialogue”, but closes door to a referendum that would “liquidate the nation”

The Spanish Government is willing to “dialogue” with the Catalan Government, but has closed the door to a self-determination referendum, because it “liquidates the essence of the [Spanish] nation”, said the Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, this Wednesday. Requested by the Catalan Socialist MP Meritxell Batet and the spokesman of the Spanish alternative left party Podemos, Iñigo Errejón, to permit reform of the Constitution in order to respond to Catalonia’s independence movement, the politician stated that to do so “requires consensus on the point of departure and arrival”. Furthermore, she stressed the necessity to achieve “an agreement on the diagnosis of the problems and the solutions”, a goal that currently is not possible given the disagreement seen in the Spanish Parliament, she added.

Cranes working at Port de Barcelona (by ACN)

Catalonia, the third most important destination for British investment in Spain

There has been a recent turn in British investment in Catalonia. While Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the United Kingdom in the region was on a downward trend between 2013 and last June, the situation has reversed and Catalonia currently accounts for 4,4% of British FDI in Spain. Indeed, Catalonia is the third territory of Spain in terms of volume of British FDI. Ahead of Catalonia, stand only Madrid and the Basque Country, which received, respectively, €3,258 and €828 million from the UK between 2013 and last June. In the same period, Catalonia received a gross flow of €546 million, according to the Barometer on the Climate and Perspectives for British Investment in Spain and Catalonia, a report that analyses the evolution of direct investment from British companies in Spain.

  • The Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras, at the Council on Fiscal and Financial Policies on the 1rst of December 2016 (by ACN)

    Catalonia rejects new deficit targets set by Spain

    The Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras, voted against the new regional deficit target of 0.6% of GDP agreed between the Conservative People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialists (PSOE). During the Council on Fiscal and Financial Policies (CPFF, going by its Catalan initials) on Thursday evening, Junqueras said that the target is “absolutely far from what citizens need and deserve”. The Catalan Government had asked for a 1.18% deficit target for 2017, but the Autonomous Communities’ limits were set instead at 0.6% for next year, 0.3% for 2018 and 0% of GDP for 2019. They were accepted despite the opposition of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencia. The communities led by the PSOE abstained. The Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, celebrated the fact that only three territories voted against the measure, saying there was a “good atmosphere” at the meeting. 

     
  • Job Centre in Barcelona (by ACN)

    Unemployment in Catalonia rises by 4,573 people in November

    Unemployment in Catalonia increased by 4,573 people in November and reached 462,969 individuals registered on the lists of the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC). According to the data released by the Spanish Employment Ministry and Social Security, unemployment saw a 1% rise in monthly terms. This increase in jobseekers is the highest registered in November since 2013. The Catalan Secretary General of Employment, Social Affairs and Families, Josep Ginesta, warned that the reduction of unemployment in Catalonia is “slowing down” due to the dependence on seasonal economic sectors. In this vein, he proposed the reconversion and reindustrialisation of Catalonia to create “more and better” jobs.  In annual terms, registered unemployment has decreased, with 58,681 less jobseekers, an 11.25% drop. 

  • The Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos speaks with the CNA in the European Parliament in Brussels (by ACN)

    European Parliament calls for compensation for citizens affected by disasters such as the Castor Project

    The European Parliament passed this Thursday a text, promoted by the Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos, which explicitly reports the Castor case and the thousand earthquakes suffered by the locals in Valencia and Catalonia’s Ebro Delta. This business project, consisting of an offshore facility that had to store 1.3 billion cubic metres of reserve gas for Spain, failed after causing over 1,000 small earthquakes. The European Parliament called this Thursday to “include the victims of collateral damage linked to prospecting, surveys and the operation of offshore facilities” in the potential beneficiaries of future compensations. “It is very important that all those affected by offshore oil and gas operations, which are proved to be in detriment of the environment and of the activities of other persons be compensated”, Chrysogonos said to the Catalan News Agency, after slamming the “scandal” which is the Castor case.

Highlights

  • The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, answering a question in the Catalan Parliament

    30.11.16 - 17:56

    Puigdemont questions Spain’s willingness to dialogue as it doesn’t include bilateral negotiation with Catalonia

    The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, is suspicious regarding Spain’s executive willingness to dialogue. During this Wednesday’s session of control in the Parliament, Puigdemont stated that Catalonia deserves a bilateral negotiation with the Government in Madrid and that he considers anything other than this a way to “dilute and disguise what is really going on” in Catalonia and...

  • USB stick and tablet containing 2017 budget (by ACN)

    29.11.16 - 14:23

    Government budget for 2017 allocates €5.8 M for pro-independence referendum

    The Government’s draft budget for 2017 presented to the Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, this Tuesday includes an allocation of €5.8 million to guarantee that the pro-independence referendum scheduled for September will be carried out. In particular, the bill establishes €5 million for electoral processes and €0.8 million for participation. Moreover, the budget also...

  • Norwegian airplane at Lleida-Alguaire airport, western Catalonia (by ACN).

    28.11.16 - 18:26

    Norwegian Airlines to double its workforce at Barcelona Airport to 755 employees in 2017

    Norwegian Airlines will double its workforce at Barcelona Airport, from the current 354 people to 755 in August 2017. The announcement was made this Monday by the Vice President of Human Resources of the company, Jan Dahm-Simonsen, during the press conference on the expansion of the airline offices at the installation in Prat de Llobregat. The 755 jobs Norwegian Airlines will have at the company headquarters in Southern Europe, in...

  • A nurse at the Hospital Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona) takes a sample of buccal mucosa to the daughter of a disappeared during the Spanish Civil War (by ACN)

    25.11.16 - 17:07

    Catalonia begins DNA testing to identify Spanish Civil War victims

    80 years after the Spanish Civil War broke out, there are still 4,912 missing victims and more than 5,000 families continue to search for their relatives. The Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona has started to perform genetic tests on relatives of the missing in order to identify remains buried in mass graves. In the past two weeks, specialists have taken samples of the saliva of 80 elderly people in Barcelona. Most of them are siblings or...

  • 'Lasarte's chef Paolo Casagrande and his most influential teacher, chef Martin Berasategui, celebrating the restaurant's third Michelin star (by ACN)

    24.11.16 - 11:06

    ‘Lasarte’ becomes first restaurant in Barcelona with three Michelin stars

    Catalan gastronomy got reinforced and gained even more prestige in the presentation of the Spain and Portugal Michelin Guide 2017, one of the most important events on the world’s gastronomic calendar. There are now 67 restaurants awarded with a Michelin star in Catalonia. The most important ‘star’ went to ‘Lasarte’ Barcelona, which joins the select group of those outlets which have three ‘macarons’...

  • Messi scored twice to complete his first century of international goals for FC Barcelona (by FCB)

    24.11.16 - 10:57

    Celtic FC 0-2 FC Barcelona: Group C champions!

    Two goals from Leo Messi see off a brave challenge from the Scots and coupled with Man City’s draw in Germany the Catalans clinch a seeded berth in the round of sixteen FC Barcelona have won 2-0 at Celtic Park. And not only does that send them through to the knockout stages of the Champions league for the thirteenth  time in a row, but Manchester City’s 1-1 draw in Monchengladbach means that...

  • Archive image of euro coins (by ACN)

    23.11.16 - 18:18

    Economic growth forecast for 2016 adjusted upward to 3.4%

    The Catalan Ministry for Economy and Tax Office presented this Wednesday the data of the macroeconomic chart to be included in the budget for 2017, which the Catalan executive expects to pass next week.  According to this document, the Catalan economy’s expected growth will be 3.4%, 0.5% more than the growth forecast for the Spanish economy, which is expected to be 2.9%. Regarding 2017, the chart keeps the figure released last...

  • The Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, and the president of the Port of Barcelona, Sixte Cambra, watching a ship passing through the Panama Canal (by ACN)

    22.11.16 - 19:14

    Catalonia strengthens trade ties with Japan and Central America

    Catalonia and Japan have renewed their business, cultural, touristic and research ties for the next three years, through the so-called ‘Japan Plan 2016-2019’. The Government presented the agreement, approved last 25th of October, on Monday and explained that it aims at boosting business promotion, investment attraction, tourism cooperation, student mobility and cultural and gastronomic exchange. While the presentation...

  • Cruise ships on Barcelona's Port (by J. Molina)

    22.11.16 - 14:49

    Barcelona to break cruise ship record in 2016 with 2.7 million passengers

    A total of 2.7 million cruise travellers will have passed through the Port of Barcelona by the end of 2016, a figure that represents an increase of about 9-10% over 2015 and marks a new record. This was announced on Monday by the president of the Port of Barcelona, ​​Sixte Cambra, who explained that until now the record stood at 2.6 million cruise passengers and was achieved in 2011. It is estimated that cruises this year will generate...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, together with Catalan Vice-president, Oriol Junqueras and Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, backed the PDECAT spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, shortly before his suplication vote (by ACN)

    22.11.16 - 14:29

    Spanish Constitutional Court has 45 pending appeals relating to Catalonia

    “The Spanish Government is maintaining its judicial offensive against the Catalan Government and no one is sitting at the table but the Government of Catalonia”, reported the Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, this Tuesday. The statement comes after Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) notified the president of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell, that she will have to testify on the 16th of December for...

  • The President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, attending the press this Wednesday 19th of October 2016 (by ACN).

    22.11.16 - 14:27

    Parliament’s President to testify before the court on 16 December

    Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has called the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, to testify before the court on Friday the 16th of December. She is accused of “disobeying” a Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) ruling when allowing the conclusions of the committee to study the constitutive process to be assessed in the Parliament. The Court also requests testimony from the second Vice-president of the...

  • Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, during the ceremony to pay tribute to Francoism' victims this Sunday (by ACN)

    21.11.16 - 14:27

    Romeva:“It has still to be proved whether Spanish democracy is worthy of the name”

    The Catalan Government paid tribute last Sunday to the 309 victims and their families that have been recognised as victims of Franco’s regime since 2009, the last time such a ceremony took place. During the event, which took place in Universitat de Barcelona’s auditorium, the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva compared “with due respect to the obvious differences” the justice of Franco’s...

  • The PP's Spokesperson at the Catalan Parliament, Enric Millo, on Tuesday (by N. Julià)

    18.11.16 - 18:55

    Spain appoints Catalan MP Enric Millo as new delegate of the Spanish executive in Catalonia to show “negotiating disposition”

    The Spanish Government appointed this Friday former spokesman of the Catalan branch of the governing People’s Party, Enric Millo, as the new delegate of the Spanish executive in Catalonia. Millo will substitute Maria de los Llanos de Luna after a term of office which has been defined by tensions between the two governments. According to the Spanish Government’s Spokesman, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, the...

  • 'Junts Pel Sí's members presented their proposal before the media (by ACN)

    18.11.16 - 15:18

    ‘Junts Pel Sí’ would win new elections but pro-independence forces could lose majority

    If new elections were to be called in Catalonia today, the winner would be governing cross-party pro-independence ‘Junts Pel Sí’, which would still have between 60 and 62 seats in the 135-seat Parliament. Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, which is currently the main party in the opposition with 25 MPs would get between 15 and 21 seats. The highest increase according to a poll released this Friday would be for...

  • Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy, Oriol Junqueras during the report to face poverty's presentation (by ACN)

    17.11.16 - 19:11

    Catalonia not able to fight poverty within the “autonomic framework”, report finds

    According to a study released this Thursday by the Catalan Ministry for Economy and Tax Office, the “autonomic framework” does not leave “enough room” to cope with poverty and inequality in Catalonia. ‘Economy note 103: Analysis and tools to tackle poverty and inequality’, a report that includes 19 extensive articles from around 30 experts, technicians and academics, stresses that the scope of the Catalan...

  • Image of a demonstration against evictions organised by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) (by ACN)

    17.11.16 - 18:23

    Brussels to take Spain to court if it fails “to enact EU rules on mortgage credit”

    The European Commission (EC) urged Spain to “enact EU rules on mortgage credit” and to “fully transpose EU-wide rules on mortgages”. “If these Member States fail to act within two months, they may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU”, the EU executive said this Thursday. The warning was extended to eight more countries Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia...