• The Catalan Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, reacting to the European Commission's comments (by P. Mateos)

    Brussels repeats that EU Treaties would no longer apply in a seceded region but opens the door for nuances

    A Spokesperson for the European Commission was asked on Tuesday about the report issued on Monday by the Catalan Government's Advisory Council for National Transition, which stated that EU Treaties did not include any provision regarding the secession of a Member State and therefore the final decision would be a political one, following economic interests. They stated that the most likely scenario would be setting up transition measures guaranteeing the continuity of EU Law, Schengen and the Euro, while Catalonia's definitive EU membership was being negotiated. The European Commission - which acknowledged it only knew the report from the press – repeated that it will only give an analysis "upon the request of a Member State" and "on the basis of a detailed scenario". However, it also stated that "if a part territory of a Member State secedes", "EU Treaties no longer apply from the day of its independence" as it becomes "a third country". The Commission did not state the procedure, nor whether transition measures could guarantee the continuity of EU agreements.

One of the buildings of HP in Sant Cugat del Vallès (by ACN)

HP to set up its world centre for 3D printing in its Greater Barcelona offices

Hewlett-Packard has announced that it will locate its world centre to develop 3D printing business in its facilities at Sant Cugat del Vallès, in Greater Barcelona, where it has already developed part of this technology. In fact, HP's Catalan offices are one of the multinational's main R&D centres at world level. HP also develops the technology for large-format printing in Greater Barcelona, employing some 350 engineers. In addition, it runs its marketing services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Catalonia. Now, HP has decided to foster its 3D printing business and Barcelona "will play a significant role", being the group's flagship for the research and development of this technology. HP explained that the main challenges engineers will have to face are the slow speed and low quality of the current 3D printing devices.

The entrance to Puig's new headquarters, designed by Rafael Moneo

Perfume maker Puig unveils new headquarters designed by Moneo and aims to rank the world's 3rd by 2020

The Catalan fashion and fragrance multinational Puig, which runs international brands such as Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Prada, has unveiled its new international headquarters, located in L'Hospitalet business district in Greater Barcelona. The tower has been designed by Rafael Moneo, who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1996. The Catalan company has also presented its results for 2013, organising a press conference for the first time. Puig's turnover reached €1.499 billion last year, posting a net profit of €176 million, 2% more than in 2012. In addition, the multinational's CEO, Marc Puig, announced that the company aims to become the world's 3rd largest luxury brand group by 2020. Currently it occupies 6th position.

The Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition met this Monday (by P. Mateos)

Catalan Government's Advisory Council: an independent Catalonia would not be excluded from the EU

An independent Catalonia would benefit from transition measures that would guarantee the continuity of European Union agreements, thus staying within the Schengen Area and the Euro Zone. This is the most likely scenario in the event of independence, according to the Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition (CATN), which is a body formed of independent and prestigious academics. The CATN is issuing a series of reports on different aspects related to a hypothetical independent Catalan state. This expert group emphasises that there is "no legal basis" to conclude that Catalonia would be automatically expelled from the EU the moment it became independent, or to state that it would automatically join the Union as a new Member State. There is no provision in the Treaties and there are no precedents. The report concludes that Catalonia's EU membership will be decided in a negotiation process where political and economic interests will be at play.

  • Containers at the Port of Barcelona a few months ago (by ACN)

    Barcelona Port increases goods traffic by 9% in the first quarter of 2014

    The Port of Barcelona handled 10.7 million tons of goods during the first 3 months of 2014, which represents a 9% increase on the same period last year. Between January and March, all the types of transported goods posted a significant growth, and the same trend applies to the traffic of passengers, which grew by 9%. In the first quarter of the year, the number of vehicles transported grew by 5%, as did the number of containers, which reached 428,720 TEU. Container imports increased by 7% and exports by 3%. Container exports grew particularly to countries such as China (+31%), the United States (+17%), Morocco (+35%) and Mexico (+87%). The traffic of bulk liquids increased by 24%, particularly diesel and other fuel, as well as chemical products.

  • The Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition met this Monday (by P. Mateos)

    Catalan Government's Advisory Council: an independent Catalonia would not be excluded from the EU

    An independent Catalonia would benefit from transition measures that would guarantee the continuity of European Union agreements, thus staying within the Schengen Area and the Euro Zone. This is the most likely scenario in the event of independence, according to the Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition (CATN), which is a body formed of independent and prestigious academics. The CATN is issuing a series of reports on different aspects related to a hypothetical independent Catalan state. This expert group emphasises that there is "no legal basis" to conclude that Catalonia would be automatically expelled from the EU the moment it became independent, or to state that it would automatically join the Union as a new Member State. There is no provision in the Treaties and there are no precedents. The report concludes that Catalonia's EU membership will be decided in a negotiation process where political and economic interests will be at play.

  • Barça players could not score any goal against Granada (by FC Barcelona)

    Granada CF vs FC Barcelona: Barça's destiny in La Liga is out of their hands (1-0)

    FC Barcelona suffered their fifth defeat of the season away to Granada, losing by the only goal of the match. It was one of those games in which the ball just simply didn’t want to go in. The visitors shot no fewer than 29 times, but not one of those was enough to neutralise Brahimi’s opener. This was a very different game to the ones in San Sebastian and Valladolid. At the Nuevo Los Cármenes, Barça created threat after threat, but couldn’t secure the three points, or even just one, and now find that their destiny in La Liga is once again out of their hands.

Highlights

  • Barça players could not score any goal against Granada (by FC Barcelona)

    13.04.14 - 11:25

    Granada CF vs FC Barcelona: Barça's destiny in La Liga is out of their hands (1-0)

    FC Barcelona suffered their fifth defeat of the season away to Granada, losing by the only goal of the match. It was one of those games in which the ball just simply didn’t want to go in. The visitors shot no fewer than 29 times, but not one of those was enough to neutralise Brahimi’s opener. This was a very different game to the ones in San Sebastian and Valladolid. At the Nuevo Los Cármenes, Barça created threat...

  • Josep Maria Subirachs next to one of his sculptures (by Premsa Basilica de la Sagrada Familia)

    09.04.14 - 19:08

    Sagrada Familia's main sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs has died aged 87

    Josep Maria Subirachs died in Barcelona after a neurodegenerative illness aged 87. Subirachs had a long career in several artistic disciplines but he will be mostly remembered at international level for the work he created in the Sagrada Familia basilica designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. In 1986, Subirachs was commissioned to create sculpture groups for the church's Passion Façade, picturing Jesus Christ's Via...

  • The Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy answering the Catalan Parliament's petition (by G. Sanz)

    08.04.14 - 23:56

    Rajoy gives another “no” to Catalonia and offers a banned Constitutional reform

    On Tuesday evening the Spanish Parliament rejected a motion to transfer to the Catalan Government the power to organise a specific non-binding self-determination referendum, using Article 150.2 of the Constitution. 86% of all Spanish MPs rejected a motion presented by the Catalan Parliament to this effect, which was backed by some two-thirds of Barcelona’s Chamber. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rejected the petition using...

  • The Spanish Parliament (by ACN)

    07.04.14 - 22:29

    Spanish Parliament to reject one of the legal ways for an agreed self-determination vote in Catalonia

    The Catalan Parliament is formally requesting the Spanish authorities to transfer the power to organise referendums to the Catalan Government, using Article 150.2 of the Constitution in order to organise an agreed self-determination vote in Catalonia. The Spanish Parliament, where the governing People's Party (PP) holds an absolute majority, will reject the petition on Tuesday, closing the door to one of the current legal paths to hold such...

  • Scytl's website (by Scytl)

    07.04.14 - 22:12

    Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen invests $40 million in Catalan e-voting company Scytl

    Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft together with Bill Gates, has invested $40 million in the Barcelona-based Scytl, which is present in 35 countries and is one of the most innovative e-voting companies at world level. Allen will join Scytl's shareholders through his investment fund Vulcan Capital. Vulcan Capital's Manager Abhishek Agrawal will join the Catalan company's Board. Agrawal praised Scytl's "key role" in upgrading electoral...

  • The new Espai Barça (by FC Barcelona)

    06.04.14 - 10:27

    FC Barcelona members vote yes on New Espai Barça proposal

    "Days like today are when the world sees what FC Barcelona is and means," says FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu. A total of 27,161 (72.36%) Club members backed the New Espai Barça proposal, which means that the project will move forward. The results of the vote were given by President Bartomeu in a press conference that started shortly after 9:00 PM CET. Bartomeu stated: "The support for the New Espai Barça proposal...

  • Barça players celebrating one of the three goals against Betis (by FC Barcelona)

    06.04.14 - 10:02

    FC Barcelona vs Betis: Voting day victory for Barça (3-1)

    FC Barcelona maintained their title challenge this Saturday in a rollercoaster win against a spirited Betis side fighting to avoid the drop.  The visitors provided plenty of nervous moments for the Camp Nou fans and were even on top times, but two goals from Leo Messi plus a Jordi Figueras own goal were enough to keep pace with  Atlético Madrid at the top of La Liga.  The players can now turn their attentions to the...

  • Víctor Grífols (left) and Artur Mas on Thursday in Parets del Vallès (by L. Vilaró)

    04.04.14 - 00:08

    Ibex 35 pharmaceutical Grífols' President supports the Catalan President's plans

    Víctor Grífols, the President and part owner of the Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols – which is one of the world leaders for blood-derivate products – has advised the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas to "go ahead" and "do not flinch", indirectly referring to Catalonia's self-determination process. At a public event to unveil the enlargement of the multinational's campus in Parets del...

  • Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, on Thursday in Brussels (by European Council)

    04.04.14 - 00:06

    Spanish PM Rajoy in Brussels: Catalans and Spaniards "share the same blood"

    Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, did not want to disclose whether he will participate in the Spanish Parliament's debate on transferring referendum powers to the Catalan Government using Article 150.2 of the Constitution. The debate is scheduled for the 8th of April following a formal petition of the Catalan Parliament, approved with 87 "yes" votes, 43 negative ballots and 3 abstentions. However, Rajoy insisted that the...

  • The main entrance to Barça's training facilities (by FC Barcelona)

    03.04.14 - 18:28

    Hopeful youngsters combine football with studies at the FC Barcelona youth academy

    The FC Barcelona youth academy, called La Masia, is known and respected worldwide for its success with home-grown players such as Pep Guardiola, Leo Messi, Carles Puyol and Andrés Iniesta. The Technical Director of the youth system, former Barça midfielder Guillermo Amor, was also one of the young talents at the academy. A member of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team in the 1990s, Amor knows the place better than anyone. CNA offers an...

  • FC Barcelona's new Masia football academy (by FC Barcelona)

    03.04.14 - 10:44

    FC Barcelona to appeal the sanction imposed by the FIFA banning the club from signing new players

    FC Barcelona has issued an official response to the sanction imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary Commission on the Royal Federation of Spanish Football and the Catalan club for infractions related to the transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. Barça will be presenting an appeal to the FIFA and should it be necessary, it will take the resulting resolution to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The FIFA has banned...

  • A branch of the Catalan Public Employment Service (by ACN)

    02.04.14 - 21:21

    Catalonia's registered unemployment dropped by 6% in March, the sharpest annual drop since 2000

    At the end of March 2014 there were 39,583 fewer jobseekers in Catalonia than twelve month earlier, which represents a 5.96% drop. It is the sharpest drop since June 2000. In addition, registered unemployment in Catalonia has been decreasing in annual terms for the last 9 consecutive months. On top of this, it is the third consecutive unemployment decline registered in a month of March. After this drop, the total number of people registered...

  • Xavier Adserà announcing that Hard Rock was joining the BCN World project (by P. Solà)

    02.04.14 - 21:15

    Hard Rock will run the second of BCN World's 6 hotel and casino resorts

    The $6-billion BCN World has added another top international investor to those developing Europe's premier holiday resort, to be located next to the PortAventura theme park in Catalonia's Costa Daurada. Chinese casino company Melco, Spanish hotel network Melià and UK shopping centre developer Value Retail will build the first resort of the total 6. PortAventura, which will host Ferrari's theme park in Europe, will also build 3,000...

  • Neymar celebrating his goal against Atlético de Madrid (by FC Barcelona)

    02.04.14 - 01:56

    FC Barcelona vs Atletico de Madrid: All still to play for in the Calderón (1-1)

    There were no surprises at the Camp Nou this Tuesday evening - no surprises in the line ups, in the tactics both teams chose, the way Barça had to work hard to breakdown the visitors’ rock solid and tough tackling defence and in the end, after three draws already this season, no surprise in the result. Diego conjured up a wonder strike from nowhere to give Atletico de Madrid the lead on 55 minutes, but Barça dug deep and...

  • Cacaolat stand in the 2014 Alimentaria (by V. Rescalvo)

    01.04.14 - 20:37

    Alimentaria trade fair congregates 140,000 visitors and 3,800 agri-food companies in Barcelona

    More than 300 innovations from the agri-food industry are presented between the 31st of March and the 3rd of April in Alimentaria, one of the main trade fairs for this sector in Europe. The 20th edition of this event, which takes place in the Catalan capital every two years, focuses on innovation and internationalisation. In fact, 40,000 visitors, 30% of the total 140,000 visitors, are foreigners. In...

  • The Catalan Government's Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs (by P. Mateos)

    01.04.14 - 20:29

    Catalan Government's legal services: the Constitutional Court backs a consultation vote if it's "not a self-determination referendum"

    The legal services of the Catalan Government have issued a report analysing last week's Constitutional Court judgement on the Catalan Parliament's Declaration of Sovereignty. The Constitutional Court rejected the idea that Catalonia was a "sovereign political and legal entity", but at the same time it recognised that "Catalan citizens' right to decide" fits into the Constitution. The Court rejected "the right to self-determination" but it...