• Catalan Government's spokeswoman, Neus Munté (by ACN)

    Catalan Government warns PP and C’s: “Get your hands off our education system”

    The Catalan government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, criticised on Monday the agreement between the conservative People’s Party (PP) and liberal Ciutadans (C’s), which includes a compromise to change the immersion education system in Catalonia, in place since the regain of democracy, for a trilingual model. In a TV interview, Munté said that Catalonia won’t change “a single comma” of its school system, which she reminded it is entrusted by law and attracts a “very broad consensus” in the country. According to Munté, C’s “changes its principals depending on where the wind blows from” in Spain, but has always kept intact its aim to “kill the immersion system” in Catalonia.

Children in a classroom within public school in Catalonia (by E. Rosanas)

The Catalan school model, at stake in negotiations to form a new Spanish government
The conservative People’s Party (PP) and liberal unionist Ciutadans (C’s) are negotiating in order to form a stable majority for a new government in Spain and Catalonia is one of the main issues on the table. The MP from Ciutadans Jorge Soler has confirmed that the so-called ‘Catalan package’ of demands from C’s to the PP includes changing the school model, even though education is a devolved power in Catalonia. The current school model has been in place for more than 30 years and is widely recognised by school teachers unions, associations and experts, as well as families. In Catalan schools, Catalan is the language of instruction in order to guarantee that all pupils end their studies knowing both Catalan, which not everyone learns at home, and Spanish, which is widely used both in the media and on the street. However, C’s has always campaigned against this system, saying that it discriminates against Spanish families that want their children to be taught in the Spanish language. That’s why they’re asking the PP to scrap the system and introduce a trilingual model with Spanish, English and Catalan. Some of the other ‘Catalan-package’ demands of C’s is a new fiscal system and the prioritisation of key infrastructure projects such as the Mediterranean Corridor. Both PP and C’s frontally reject a referendum on independence in Catalonia.

A rehearsal of ‘Manifesta’ (by Alba Legide)

FiraTàrrega to celebrate multiculturalism hosting premiere of ‘Manifesta’

Street art is capable of addressing very different people and contexts, and this year’s edition of FiraTàrrega is marked precisely by an ambition to overcome differences and explore the intercultural potential of art. ‘Manifesta’, a large format coproduction of the festival, is the latest creation from Bobskené. A fun and festive song that celebrates difference while mixing text, music and circus, and which audiences will be able to enjoy for the first time on the 8th of September. The text is a multilingual manifesto, written in Catalan, Spanish, French and English, that reflects the seven nationalities of the artists that take part in the performance. “The manifesto makes us question the times that we live in and invites us to relax, to arrive to ecstasy and end up dancing”, said the director of the performance, Ricard Soler i Mallol.

Artist's impression of the planet orbiting Proxima Centauri (by ESO)

International team led by Catalan scientist discovers an Earth-like planet
Proxima b orbits within what is considered to be a habitable zone of the star Proxima Centauri. The temperature on the surface of the rocky planet could allow the presence of liquid water, according to the research, developed at the Queen Mary University of London. This means that Proxima b, which has 1.3 times the mass of the Earth, could potentially be the first planet to host life outside of the Solar System discovered by humans. The planet takes 11.2 days to travel around its star, Proxima Centauri, covering during its orbit only 5% of the distance that separates the Sun and the Earth. However, scientists argue that this star is smaller and less intense, making the existence of life possible.
  • The Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, and the PSOE leader, Pedro Sánchez (by X.Vallbona)

    Sánchez confirms socialists ‘no’ to Rajoy

    The leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) described as a “waste of time” his meeting on Monday with conservative leader Mariano Rajoy. In a press conference in Madrid, Sánchez said that the Socialists will vote against a new Rajoy-led government. The People’s Party (PP) and Ciutadans (C’s) agreed on Sunday a 150-point plan to form a new Spanish government, but they do not have enough support in parliament. Rajoy will face a confidence vote on Wednesday, and a second one on Friday if the first ballot fails. According to Sánchez, the socialists cannot be blamed for the expected failure of Rajoy.
  • Students from Germany with their own single-seater car in Montmeló (by L.Busquets)

    Engineering students compete in Montmeló with their own single-seater race car

    Up to 1.750 students from all around the world worked throughout the year on the design and construction of single-seater racing cars that performed on the famous Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday. Formula Student Spain was held in Montmeló to allow students to practice all the knowledge they have acquired at university while simulating a real situation. Students had to work as if they were part of a real company, looking for suppliers and sponsors, planning costs as well as designing and constructing the cars. The minister of Business and Knowledge of Catalonia, Jordi Baiget, described the event as a much needed activity to enhance interaction between industry and university.
  • The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, with the leader of C's, Albert Rivera (by X. Vallbona)

    PP and C’s reach agreement paving the way for a new Rajoy government

    The conservative People’s Party (PP) and the liberal Ciutadans sealed on Sunday an agreement that they hope will gain enough supports in the Spanish Congress to allow Mariano Rajoy to be appointed as Spanish president. The deal comes after a week of intense negotiations between the two parties and could put an end to an eight-month deadlock in Spain, which has been without a functioning government since December 2015. PP and C’s have agreed on a 150-point plan that includes economic, social and institutional measures. Amongst them, a controversial commitment to introduce a trilingual model in schools that would de facto suspend the current Catalan immersion system and a frontal opposition to any kind of independence referendum.

Highlights

  • Ophthalmologist Joaquim Barraquer with the Government representative Joan Rangel in a picture from 2010 (by ACN)

    26.08.16 - 16:24

    Ophthalmologist Joaquim Barraquer dies at 89

    He was the director of the prestigious ophthalmologist clinic Barraquer in Barcelona, founded in 1947 by his father and world-renowned doctor Ignasi Barraquer. Joaquim Barraquer was Professor of Eye Surgery at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Honorary Professor and Doctor Honoris Causa at several other universities. He was a specialist in corneal transplants and eye surgery to treat cataracts, glaucoma and myopia.
  • A picture from Gas Natural Fenosa's headquarters, located in Barcelona (by ACN)

    23.08.16 - 11:52

    Gas Natural to invest €120 million in Australian wind farm project

    The Catalan multinational, through its international power generation business company Global Power Generation (GPG), has been awarded its first wind farm contract in Australia. The 91-megawatt park will be constructed in the state of New South Wales, 90 kilometres from the capital city Canberra. Gas Natural will invest €120 million euros in the wind farm, which will be named Crookwell II and will be situated in one of the more...
  • The spokesman in the Catalan Parliament of the liberal and unionist party Ciutadans, Carlos Carrizosa (by V.Gumà)

    23.08.16 - 10:04

    C’s foresees a bad result for pro-independence parties in 2017

    The spokesman in the Catalan Parliament of the liberal and unionist party Ciutadans, Carlos Carrizosa, said in an interview with the CNA that voters in Catalonia will have to go to the polls next year because, according to him, the current government will collapse. “This very unstable government has the support of an unreliable and dangerous ally, the CUP, and it will not be able to survive beyond 2017. There will be elections and their...
  • Anti-Franco activist Jordi Carbonell has died aged 92 (by A.Moldes)

    22.08.16 - 17:52

    Anti-Franco activist Jordi Carbonell dies aged 92

    He was the president of the left-wing pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) between 1996 and 2004 and a renowned Catalan philologist. Carbonell was responsible for the first four volumes of the Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana (the ‘Big Catalan Encyclopaedia’), that he compiled between 1965 and 1971. During the Franco dictatorship he was incarcerated twice because of his anti-fascist and pro-Catalan language activism. One of the...
  • Leo Messi returned with style with two fine strikes (by Miguel Ruiz)

    22.08.16 - 12:43

    FC Barcelona v Real Betis: Back with a bang (6-2)

    FC Barcelona’s defense of their league title began with a 6-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday evening with a goal from Arda Turan, two for Leo Messi and a Luis Suárez hat-trick. It may be a new season, but it was the same free-flowing attacking football on display at the Camp Nou that the home faithful have come to expect, as Barça cruised to a comfortable win to open the league campaign. If there were any nerves ahead of kick-off, they...
  • A tourist buying postcards in Barcelona's Les Rambles (by O. Campuzano)

    22.08.16 - 12:42

    Barcelona is almost excellent –just a bit too crowded, say tourists

    A new poll shows that tourists in the Catalan capital gave the city a score of 8.6 on a scale of 0 to 10. An almost excellent result, which is, however, overshadowed by concerns by those same visitors that the city attracts way too many people. In fact, 58% of those that took part in the poll consider Barcelona’s tourist spots overcrowded. On summer Sundays, up to 20,000 people arrive in Barcelona by cruise ship. The figure will peak on the...
  • Aerial shot of the 'Gateway to the Catalan Republic', the pro-independence demonstration which gathered together milions of people on Catalonia's National Day, on the 11th of September 2015

    22.08.16 - 11:01

    ANC urges Parliament to call a binding referendum on independence this autumn

    The president of the civil society organisation Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Jordi Sánchez, stated on Sunday that the process towards independence has to be completed and a binding referendum needs to be called by the Catalan Parliament this autumn. Otherwise, he admitted, Catalan independence supporters might not achieve their goal. “We either start to complete this process (towards independence) or it will finish us off”, he said,...
  • Passengers at Barcelona El Prat airport (by ACN)

    12.08.16 - 18:52

    El Prat Airport records second-largest passenger grow in Europe

    12.7% more passengers used Barcelona El Prat Airport’s facilities during the first half of 2016 than in the same period last year. According to data released by the Airports Council International (ACI) and adding the figures corresponding to July, 25,028,393 people used El Prat’s facilities in the first seven months of the year. Thus, Barcelona’s airport has the second-largest passenger growth in group 1, which...

  • Two 'flat scouts' in Barcelona, checking whether the apartments have the required licences to legally host tourists (by ACN)

    11.08.16 - 18:35

    Barcelona cracks down on illegal subletting for tourists and closes 256 apartments

    The Catalan capital’s action plan against illegal accommodation for tourists resulted in July in the closure of 256 apartments whose activity has been considered illegal, a figure which has to be added to the 112 orders announced in the first half of 2016. Besides ordering the ceasing of their activity, the accommodation websites responsible for the flats, Airbnb and Homeaway, will have to face a 30,000 euros fine for not having the...

  • Barça squad with the Joan Gamer trophy at Camp Nou (by FCB)

    11.08.16 - 15:49

    FC Barcelona v UC Sampdoria: Gamp-iones! (3-2)

    FC Barcelona have won the 51st edition of its own Joan Gamper Trophy with a 3-2 win over Italian guests Sampdoria on the night that the Camp Nou made its first contact with the 2016/17 squad, and especially with the five new signings. All of them were given time on pitch in front of a carnival atmosphere that was led by a sparkling performance from MVP Leo Messi, who scored the second and third goals after...

  • Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte beating her gold medal in 200 m butterfly at Rio Olympics (by David Gray / Reuters)

    11.08.16 - 10:57

    Catalan swimmer Mireia Belmonte brings first gold for Spain at Rio Olympics

    Mireia Belmonte won the 200-metre butterfly this Wednesday and became the first Spanish woman to win an Olympic swimming gold medal. The 25-year-old, trained at Club Natació Sabadell, not only improved her result obtained four years ago in London, where she obtained the silver medal, but registered the fastest time so far this year, 2 minutes 4.85 seconds, beating Australian Maddie Groves by three hundredths of a second. World...

  • Catalan Government's spokeswoman, Neus Munté (by ACN)

    10.08.16 - 18:22

    Catalan Government spokeswoman warns CUP: “Confidence is non-negotiable”

    The pressure radical left pro-independence CUP have put to meet with Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in order to tackle the vote of confidence he will submit himself to on the 28th of September hasn’t been well-received by the Catalan Government’s spokeswoman. According to Neus Muntéit is “inappropriate for CUP to set the pace and conditions of the vote of...

  • FC Barcelona's five new players with the trophy they'll be playing for on Wednesday night (by FCB)

    10.08.16 - 18:10

    Joan Gamper Trophy: FC Barcelona v UC Sampdoria

    Welcome back to the Camp Nou! August 10 brings the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season as Barça host Sampdoria of Italy in the 51st edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy. This is the last of four friendlies for Barça before things get really serious with the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. UC Sampdoria were Barça’s victims both in the 1989 European Cup Winner’s...

  • An image from last year's Circuit Festival (by Circuit Festival / ACN)

    09.08.16 - 18:20

    Barcelona hosts world’s largest LGBTI festival for 9th consecutive year

    Isla Fantasia waterpark, located 30 kilometres north of Barcelona, hosted this Tuesday the 'Water Park Day', the main highlight of Circuit Festival 2016, the world’s largest LGBTI party. Around 8,000 people from all over the world, mainly gay males between 25 and 40 years old, enjoyed the sun, the water facilities and live sessions from nine different DJs, in what is considered to be the biggest open-air gay party in Europe. Circuit...

  • Radical left pro-independence CUP's members at Barcelona's Plaça del Rei (by ACN)

    09.08.16 - 15:14

    CUP insist on the “need” to meet with Puigdemont before vote of confidence

    Radical left pro-independence CUP have insisted on the “need” to meet with Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, before he submits to a vote of confidence, on the 28th of September. The Government’s partners aim to discuss the pro-independence roadmap first, which was ratified two weeks ago by the Catalan Parliament and suspended a few days afterwards by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Regarding the...