• Barça's football academy, La Masia (by FC Barcelona)

    FC Barcelona to appeal to CAS against FIFA ban to sign new players in 2015

    Following the resolution announced this Wednesday by the FIFA Appeals Committee on violations of regulations regarding the transfer and registration of children aged under 18 years, FC Barcelona announced that it will continue to defend its interests before the highest sporting authority, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). FIFA confirmed the sanction imposed on the Catalan club which bans them from signing new players during two transfer periods. Therefore, FC Barcelona will not be able to sign new players next winter and in the summer of 2015. The Catalan clubs considers that FIFA is questioning its youth academy model, known as La Masia, where stars such as Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández or Pep Guardiola grew up.

Old people with Alzheimer's attending the Fundació Alzheimer Centre Educacional in Barcelona (by ACN)

The age of ageing: Barcelona’s growing elderly population

Like many major European cities, Barcelona is ageing fast. In the years ahead the city must grapple with many of the problems associated with an increasingly top heavy demographic: as the over-65 population burgeons, health and social services are stretched, the financing of pensions is challenged, and a growing number of frail and vulnerable people face competing over declining resources. Today’s elderly cohort constitutes a greater proportion of Barcelona’s population than ever before, and, perhaps most worryingly, face an increased likelihood of living alone.  But all is not doom and gloom, as the city enjoys an active, dynamic and engaged elderly population, the health and social sector rises to meet the challenges, and the labour market benefits from what are known as the ‘super-grandmothers.’

The Catalan President (centre) unveiling the Talamanca Battle monument with people dressed as soldiers from that period (by L. Busquets)

Catalan President: the only plan is to vote on November 9 and partisan fights have to be kept aside

After doubts generated in the last few days around the possibility of postponing next November's independence vote and Tuesday's quarrel among the forces supporting self-determination, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, has cooled tensions down. On Wednesday, Mas emphasised that the Catalan Government's only plan is to vote on this 9th of November, as was agreed among a wide majority of parties. In addition, he also asked the parties to put partisanship aside and "to take risks and [act] smartly". Mas stated that, if the Spanish authorities ban the self-determination vote, the reaction will be agreed among all the parties supporting such a vote. With these words, Mas rejected the idea that the Catalan Government will automatically postpone the vote if the Constitutional Court bans it, as was suggested on Tuesday by the Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega. Her words and previous statements launched an immediate response from all the other parties which insisted that Catalans had to vote on that day.

Catalan inflation rate fell this July, placing the interannual CPI at 0% (by ACN)

Catalan inflation rate fell this July, placing the interannual CPI at 0%

In Catalonia prices fell by 8 decimal points this July compared to a year ago and interanual inflation rate stood at 0%, according to the Spain's Statistical Institute (INE). This is a contrast to Spain as a whole, where prices fell by 9 decimal points in July, placing the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in negative figures, as low as -0.3%. This level of negative inflation has not been recorded in the country since September 2010, when the CPI lay at -0.7%. This contrast in inflation rates indicates that the Catalan CPI is able to resist falling into negative numbers, despite what has happened to Spain's economy this year, which already registered negative CPI statistics this March. 

Luis Suárez with the Joan Gamper trophy (by FC Barcelona)

FC Barcelona v León FC: Party atmosphere for Camp Nou debut

La Festa del Gamper will climax with the presentation of the squad and the match against Mexican side Club León on Monday evening (20.30 CET). The game gives the fans a chance to see the FC Barcelona's new summer signings. Bravo, Masip, Ter Stegen, Mathieu, Vermaelen, Rafinha, Rakitic and  Luis Suárez, who will be making his first appearance in a Barça shirt after re-joining the squad for training last Friday. Five of those new players -Bravo, Masip, Mathieu, Rakitic and Luis Suárez-, could make their Camp Nou debuts as Barça players against Leon, whilst the injured Ter Stegen and Vermaelen will have to wait. Rafinha played for the first team at the stadium when he was still a Barça B player.

  • The Media TIC building, in Barcelona's 22@technological district (by ACN)

    Startupbootcamp accelerator lands in Barcelona to develop Internet of Things business projects

    Barcelona will host one of the main and most innovative business accelerators in the world, Startupbootcamp, which is winner of Europe's 2014 Best Startup Accelerator and specialises in new technologies. The German company will select 10 start-ups from all around the world to help them develop their projects specifically related to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), which is the technology connecting electronic devices to each other in order to improve quality of life. Startupbootcamp will set up its office in the 22@ technological and business district, which occupies the revamped Poblenou old industrial neighbourhood. During 3 months it will select the projects from the Media TIC building, where the Mobile World Capital has its main offices, which is the foundation that aims to transform Barcelona into the capital for the world's cell-phone and mobility industry, after organising the Mobile World Congress each year.

  • Container Terminal 'BEST' in Barcelona's Port (by ACN)

    Catalan exports in June grow by 0.1% while Spain's drop by 1.2%

    Exports from Catalonia between January and June 2014 reached €29,769.5 million, which represent a 1.8% increase compared to the same period last year. They also represented 24.9% of Spain's total exports, which reached €119,265 million, a 0.5% growth on the previous year's figures. However, despite growing at a slower pace, Spain's total exports posted a new historical record since comparable figures started to be registered in 1971. Considering just the June figures, the export sector seemed to be affected by the negative economic figures from France and Germany. Catalan exports only grew by 0.1% in June compared to the figures registered in the same month of 2013, while Spain's total exports during the first sixth months of the year decreased by 1.2%.

  • Messi and Neymar celebrate one of Barça's six goals against Mexican side Club León (by FC Barcelona)

    FC Barcelona vs Club León: Barça's promising night (6-0)

    With less than a week to go till the start of the Spanish League season, Barça put on an encouraging show for the Camp Nou this Monday evening, putting six past Club Leon to take the 49th edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy.  Goals from Messi, Neymar (2), Munir (2) and Sandro gave the side their second 6-0 win of the pre-season and to add to the upbeat atmosphere, Luis Suárez  made his debut, coming on for the final quarter of an hour. With only Ter Stegen and Vermaelen unavailable, Luis Enrique sent out a strong starting XI, with Alves and Jordi Alba outside Mascherano and Mathieu at the heart of the defence and a front three of Messi, Rafinho and Neymar Jr,  ahead of Rakitic, Busquets and Iniesta.

Highlights

  • Luis Suárez will be allowed to train with his team mates and to be presented as new Barça player (by FC Barcelona)

    14.08.14 - 20:32

    Luis Suárez to join Barça training on Friday after the CAS nuance the FIFA sanction

    Luis Suárez will be able to train with FC Barcelona after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) nuanced the sanction imposed by FIFA. After the Uruguayan bit another player in the last World Cup, FIFA sanctioned Suárez with a severe 4-month ban from participating in any activity related to football, including training and press conferences. In addition, he was banned from playing 9 official matches with Uruguay's national...

  • The Secretary General of Manos Limpias, before filing the complaint against Jordi Pujol (by R. Garrido)

    13.08.14 - 22:01

    Extreme-right organisation files a complaint against former Catalan President Jordi Pujol for corruption

    Manos Limpias, a Spanish far-right nationalist trade union, has finally filed a judicial complaint for corruption against the historical leader of Catalan nationalism and President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003, Jordi Pujol, and his wife, Marta Ferrussola. For the last two years, there has been increasing news that allegedly link Pujol's sons to illegal businesses and hidden fortunes. On top of this, two weeks ago, Pujol confessed that...

  • The Vice President of the Catalan Government, Joana Ortega, a few weeks ago (by P. Francesch)

    12.08.14 - 21:04

    Self-determination forces clash over possibility to postpone 9th November vote if Spain blocks it

    In the last few days, the centre-right pro-Catalan state coalition CiU, which runs the Catalan Government, has sent several messages suggesting that the self-determination vote scheduled for the 9th of November would not take place on that day if the Spanish authorities managed to declare it illegal, despite that fact that it would be backed by Catalan legislation. At first it was the President of the Catalan Executive, Artur...

  • A student of the 2014 Solsona's International Music Academy (by E. Escolà)

    12.08.14 - 20:52

    Solsona’s International Music Academy welcomes 65 young talents from 20 different nationalities

    Solsona's International Music Academy (AIMS) is a high level international project, which is also the first and only pedagogical music festival in Catalonia. It was created by the German cellist Peter Thiemann in order to bring together classical music students and professors of acknowledged international prestige who play in Europe's main orchestras. It is an intensive education project which takes place in a beautiful rural environment in...

  • El Vol, a few days before opening its doors (by ACN)

    11.08.14 - 20:19

    Glass and iron container suspended over a river showcases the best Catalan cuisine in Girona

    A new and surprising temporary restaurant, named El Vol Espai Gastronòmic, has opened in Girona, in north-eastern Catalonia, to host some of the best Catalan chefs, such as Joan Roca, whose establishment was named the world's best restaurant in 2013. El Vol is partly suspended over the Onyar River and is a glass and iron structure, transparent and white, which is 20 meters long, weighs 28 tons and is situated in Girona's historic...

  • The presentation of Thomans Vermaelen as Barça player (by FC Barcelona)

    10.08.14 - 15:50

    Belgian centre-back Thomas Vermaelen signs with FC Barcelona till 2019

    Thomas Vermaelen is officially a Barça player after signing a five year deal at the Club on Sunday morning. Vermaelen was accompanied at the signing by the Catalan club President Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sporting Vice-Oresident Jordi Mestre. The Belgian defender passed his medical on Saturday and was presented on the Camp Nou pitch on Sunday  morning, with a press conference. Speaking at his presentation, Vermaelen explained: "I...

  • Barça players celebrating one of their 6 goals against HJK Helsinki (by FC Barcelona)

    09.08.14 - 20:26

    HJK Helsinki v FC Barcelona: Six of the best! (0-6)

    FC Barcelona made light work of their fourth preseason friendly. Goals from Munir (2), Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Bartra and Sandro brought a fantastic end to a busy week with games in Nice, Geneva and now Helsinki. The atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium couldn’t have been better, but after FCB scored three times in the first fifteen minutes, the game itself was a lop-sided affair.

  • Barcelona El Prat's Terminal 1 (by ACN)

    08.08.14 - 20:58

    Barcelona El Prat airport exceeds 4 million passengers in one month for the first time ever

    This July, Barcelona El Prat Airport broke a new record by surpassing 4 million passengers in one month. 4,027,585 travellers passed through the main Catalan airport last month, an increase of 4.9% from July 2013. This makes Barcelona's airport the second busiest in Spain, only just beaten by Madrid Barajas Airport, which registered 37,831 passengers more than El Prat this month, a total of 4,065,416. There has also been...

  • Jordi Pujol (centre) and his wife, Marta Ferrussola, in their house in Queralbs (by L. Busquets)

    08.08.14 - 20:55

    Tax and judicial authorities send the first enquiries to former Catalan President Jordi Pujol

    On Friday the Spanish Tax Agency delivered a summons to the historical leader of Catalan nationalism, Jordi Pujol, who confessed two weeks ago that his family had non-declared money from his father's inheritance in fiscal paradises for more than 35 years. Also on Friday, the Barcelona judge investigating the case requested that Pujol hand in his father's last will and the document accepting the inheritance. In addition, the judge sent...

  • Last year's Temporada Alta hosted 'Orlando' by Guy Cassiers and based on a text by Virginia Woolf (by Festival Temporada Alta)

    08.08.14 - 15:42

    Girona's Temporada Alta Festival to stage African version of 'Macbeth' and solo-performance of Catalan classic 'Lowlands'

    The renowned performing arts festival Temporada Alta has revealed the first big names for its 23rd edition, which will take place in the cities of Girona and Salt (north-eastern Catalonia), from the 3rd of October until the 8th of December. The headliner on the international scene this year is MacbETH, an adaptation by Brett Bailey of Verdi’s opera relocated in the centre of post-colonial...

  • Afra Blanco presenting the UGT report on Thursday (by L. Roma)

    07.08.14 - 21:02

    There are 55,319 young Catalans living abroad, an increase of 55.62% in 5 years

    The number of Catalans between 15 and 34 who go abroad in search of a "decent" job has increased by 9.24% in the last year, meaning the number of young people living outside Catalonia has increased from 50,640 in 2013, to 55,319 this year, according to a study from the UGT trade union. Between 2009 and 2014, 19,772 youngsters have left Catalonia; a 55.62% increase in 5 years. These statistics were announced in a press conference on Thursday...

  • The Circuit Festival will take place in Barcelona from the 6th to the 17th of August (by B. Fuentes)

    07.08.14 - 21:00

    Barcelona's Circuit gay and lesbian festival to exceed last year's 71,000 participants

    From the 6th-17th August, Barcelona hosts the 7th edition of Circuit Festival, an international event directed towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people. The aim of this edition is to promote the festival as an "international meeting point", since 80% of last year's 71,000 participants came from abroad. Furthermore, Barcelona will profit from the €100 million that Circuit attendees bring to...

  • Rafinha playing against Napoli (by FC Barcelona)

    07.08.14 - 11:00

    SSC Napoli v FC Barcelona: First defeat of preseason (1-0)

    Despite the result, Wednesday’s match was a great test for Luis Enrique’s side against Napoli in Geneva. Claudio Bravo made his Barça debut against the club that finished third in Serie A last year, and although the Italians took the win thanks to the only goal of the night, the Catalans played strong and confident football despite the absence of some of their biggest stars, such as Messi, Neymar and Xavi. Despite posing...

  • The plots of land next to PortAventura theme park where BCN World will be built (by ACN)

    06.08.14 - 20:40

    Catalan Grup Peralada is pre-accepted in the tender to win a BCN World mega-casino license

    The Catalan Government has issued a provisional list of the companies that might be granted a license to build and run one of the 6 mega-casinos of the $6 billion BCN World resort to be developed next to Port-Aventura theme park. The surprises are that Catalonia-based Grup Peralada -which runs casinos, luxury hotels, an international performing arts festival and vineyards- is one of the contenders and that the offer with Caesars...

  • Catalan economy posted a 1.3% interannual growth in June (by ACN)

    06.08.14 - 19:14

    Catalonia's economic recovery gets stronger as GDP grew by 0.6% between April and June 2014

    The Catalan economy grew by 1.3% from July 2013 to June 2014. However, the economic recovery has particularly sped up and got stronger over the second quarter of 2014, when it grew by 0.6% in quarterly terms, according to data released on Wednesday by the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat) and the Catalan Finance Ministry. The GDP growth between April and June was higher than the one registered during the first quarter of the year, set...

  • Catalan romani people travelled to Auschwitz to participate in a hommage for the Nazi victims of their community (by Veus Gitanes)

    06.08.14 - 18:50

    Catalan gypsies pay tribute to Auschwitz's Romani victims on the 70th anniversary of the genocide

    Sixty Catalans travelled to Poland to honour the victims of the Romani genocide in Auschwitz concentration camp which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the horrific crime. The delegation consisted of members of the Federation of Gypsy Associations of Catalonia (FAGIC), the Nakeramos Intercultural Association, formed by young people from Barcelona, and the women's group, Veus Gitanes. The five-day commemoration was...