• Demonstrators in Barcelona this morning, celebrating Spain's National Day

    Spain’s National Day celebrations in Barcelona smaller than in the last years

    Nearly 4,000 Spanish unity supporters and extreme-right forces gathered this Monday in Barcelona’s ‘Plaça de Catalunya’to celebrate Spain’s National Day. Although this time neither the Spanish People’s Party (PP) nor anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans confirmed their attendance, the PP’s leader in Catalonia, Xavier Garcia Albiol, in the end took part in the rally, together with other PP members. With the slogan ‘Barcelona, capital city of Spanishness’, members of Falange –the fascist party of Franco, which is still legal in today’s Spain, groups opposing Catalonia’s independence and retired soldiers displayed Spanish flags, shouted ‘Catalonia is Spain’ and burnt pro-independence flags in the centre of the square. Spain’s National Day commemorates the day Columbus landed in America, in 1492. In Madrid there is a big army exhibition but in the last years the day has been regarded as opposition to Catalonia’s push for independence and other regions of Spain’s exaltation of Spanish nationalism and the denial of other regions autonomy, especially Catalonia and Basque Country.   

Sitges Film Festival's director, Àngel Sala, Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell and Sitges Mayor, Miquel Forns presenting the 48th edition of the festival

Sitges International Film Festival focuses on “terror in all its forms”

Almost 200 fantastic and terror genre films will be projected, from the 9th to the 18th of October, in the 48th edition of Catalonia’s International Fantastic Film Festival, in Sitges. The opening film this Friday will be the lauded “The Witch”, whose director Robert Eggers won the best director award in Sundance Festival. Sitges 2015 will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of David Fincher’s ‘Seven’ and tribute north-American director Oliver Stone, who will be awarded the Honorific Prize. The Festival, in partnership with Mobile World Capital Barcelona, have launched ‘Phonetastic’ a novelty of this year which aims to power all the potential of new generation mobile devices as movie-making tools.  According to his director, Àngel Sala the pace of tickets sales is similar to last years but a new venue has been added to the seven existing, Cinema Tramuntana. 


'Portrait of Van Gogh' is one of the masterpieces exhibited in 'Fundació Mapfre' (by ACN)

‘Fundació Mapfre’, a new art gallery in Barcelona

‘Fundació Mapfre’ opened its doors this Thursday with ‘The triumph of colour’, a major exhibition which includes masterpieces from Van Gogh, Cézanne and Matisse, amongst others. The venue is located in the modernist Casa Garriga-Nogués in Barcelona and its decoration “reminds the visitor that he is in Barcelona” stated Fundació Mapfre’s Culture Area Director, Pablo Jiménez Burillo. The gallery expects to host a major exhibition at the beginning of each season and to start with they chose this collection of 72 paintings, from the impressionist masters to the avant-garde painting, lent by Paris’ Musée d’Orsay and the Orangerie.

Members of the Mortgage Platform (PAH) on a demonstration (by ACN)

The European Parliament urges the Spanish government to reduce “the unacceptable number of evictions”

A wake up call from the European Parliament to the Spanish government regarding the evictions and the ‘preferential shares’ scandal, which offered high rates of return but ended up with thousands of savers unable to recover their money four years ago. MEPs approved this Thursday a resolution which urged Spain to “drastically” reduce “the unacceptable number of evictions” and to “supervise” whether the communitarian legislation in relation to mortgage loans is correctly applied in order to “solve the current problems and prevent abusive practices”. This resolution was approved on the same day that Spain’s Constitutional Court accepted the Spanish government’s appeal to stop the Catalan law which would fine the owners of empty flats and deal with the situations of housing emergency. 

Philip VI speech in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg (by ACN)

Spanish King to the European Parliament: “I’m European because I’m Spanish”

Philip VI, the Spanish Monarch, defended this Wednesday “a united Spain” at Strasbourg’s plenary. “Europe has been built on the basis of adding rather than deducting, of uniting rather than dividing and the ability to share and be supportive” he stated. The EU can count “on a united Spain, which is proud of its diversity” and “respectful of the rule of law”, he emphasised. The Spanish King praised the Constitution and described it as “the great agreement” which “protects the regions in Spain in the exercising of their diverse cultures and traditions, languages, and institutions”. Spanish alternative-left Podemos MEP Pablo Iglesias criticised Philip VI’s role regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and stated that “the king shouldn’t interfere in issues that have to be democratically solved by the citizens”.  

  • Official poster of the 75th anniversary of Lluis Companys' execution commemoration events

    Barcelona will commemorate the 75th anniversary of President Lluís Companys' execution

    The Commission for Dignity, an NGO that aims to return the documents confiscated by Franco’s troops at the end of the Spanish Civil War to their rightful owners in Catalonia,“urged” the Spanish state and the army to condemn the court-martial that executed Catalan President, Lluís Companys in 1940. The Commission also invited Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and commanding officer of the Spanish military forces stationed in Catalonia, General Boyero Delgado, to attend the commemoration events “as an action of normality”. One of its initiatives to fight for the preservation of historical memory is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Companys’ execution. As a tribute, the Commission is also preparing a concert on the 11th of October, performed by the School of Music of Catalonia (ESMUC) and to be held at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC).

  • Pro-independence flags during 'Via Lliure' rally on last Catalonia's National Day (by ACN)

    Roadmap after 27-S: What do pro-independence forces agree on?

    Two weeks after the 27-S Catalan elections, the debate on who will be the next President is still bogged down. Pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together For Yes’), which won the elections but didn’t get an absolute majority, confirmed that Artur Mas was their candidate to run for President. However, radical left CUP have repeatedly stated that they won’t instate Mas as President, as an independent Catalonia needs a leader “who can’t be identified with cuts, corruption and privatisations”. “Now we are extremely focused on the content, the what, when, and how” stated CUP’s leader Antonio Baños, in an interview with 'Catalunya Ràdio'. Simultaneously, in another radio interview, ‘Junts Pel Sí’ lead member Raül Romeva assured that he “agrees with almost everything” regarding CUP’s roadmap towards independence and insisted that choosing a candidate to be President “is now secondary”.

  • Picasso's painting 'La Gommeusse' has a portrait of the author's patron Pere Mañach on the reverse

    Picasso early painting with hidden patron portrait unveiled

    A painting of Picasso’s ‘blue period’ with a hidden portrait at the back of the canvas of Picasso’s friend and patron Peter Mañach, has been presented this Friday in London for the first time in 30 years. ‘La Gommeuse’ is a portrait of a naked Parisian woman made in 1901 and the image of Mañach on the reverse was discovered only 15 years ago. Now the canvas will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York with a starting price of $60 million. The painting dates back to Picasso’s ‘blue period’ while living in Paris with Mañach. Artworks of Andy Warhol, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh also will go under the hammer.


  • Official poster of the BFI London Film Festival (by ACN)

    09.10.15 - 14:23

    Six Catalan productions at the 59th BFI London Film Festival

    The 59th BFI London Film Festival 2015 includes six Catalan signature productions. Hèctor Fernández’s ‘The corpse of Anna Fritz’, Esteve Soler’s ‘Interior. Family’ and Cesc Gay’s ‘Truman’ are the titles directed by Catalans and three more are Catalan co-productions, Fernando León de Aranoa’s ‘A Perfect Day’, Eugenio Canevari’s...

  • High Speed Train stucked in Lleida, this morning (by ACN)

    08.10.15 - 11:20

    High Speed Train network in Catalonia collapsed this morning

    A theft of a fibre optic cable at about 7am this morning caused the absolute paralysation of the High Speed Trains’ service in Catalonia. 40 trains and 13,000 passengers all over the territory were affected. The breakdown started in the route between Figueres, in the north of Catalonia and Barcelona and it consequently affected the whole network. The only trains running from early morning are those between Lleida, in the east of...

  • Catalan exhibitors in last's Anuga Food and Agriculture Fair (by Catalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Food)

    07.10.15 - 16:12

    29 Catalan companies to take part in Anuga, the world’s most important Food and Agriculture Fair

    From the 10th to the 14th of October, the German city of Cologne will host Anuga, the world’s most important Food and Agriculture Fair which gathered together, in its last edition, nearly 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries. Catalonia’s food industry will be represented through two main sectors; olive oil and nuts on the one hand, and cold meats on the other. The Catalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock,...

  • Neus Català survived Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück (by ACN)

    06.10.15 - 20:24

    Neus Català, the only living Catalan survivor of Ravensbrück Nazi camp, honoured on her 100th birthday

    This year Catalonia commemorates the 100th birthday of the only living Catalan survivor of the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück, Neus Català, whom is regarded as a symbol of anti-fascist resistance. In April, Català was given the Gold Medal of the Government of Catalonia and throughout 2015 commemorative events organised by different entities have been held to preserve Català’s testimony. This Tuesday,...

  • 'Barça Dreams' director Jordi Llompart and Moto Gp wider and producer, Jorge Lorenzo, at the movie presentation this week at Antiga Fábrica Estrella Damm, in Barcelona (by FCB)

    06.10.15 - 17:18

    The movie ‘Barça Dreams’ to be released this weekend

    The brand new movie about FC Barcelona is an emotional journey into the soul of the Club as explained through some of the most important figures in its 115 year history, from founder Joan Gamper through to Leo Messi, and including such legends as Kubala, Cruyff and Ronaldinho, all of whom are essential for understanding how the Club came to develop its own unique playing style, and one which has consistently been the focus of...

  • 1 and 2 euro's coins (by ACN)

    06.10.15 - 15:22

    Catalan Government endorses 17 funding initiatives as an alternative to traditional banking

    The Catalan Government has created the first certification that “guarantees” the quality of 17 funding systems which aim to be an alternative to traditional banking. The public business innovation agency, ACCIÓ, has accredited the first 17, which are private investors’ networks, crowd-funding platforms, crowd-lending systems an invoice traders. According to the Catalan Business and Occupation department, this...

  • U2' leader 'Bono' in Barcelona, during '360º' World Tour, in 2009 (by ACN)

    06.10.15 - 11:57

    U2 rock in first of four shows in Barcelona

    The Irish band didn’t fail to delight the 17,900 people that attended the band’s first of four shows in Barcelona, which are the only ‘The Innocence + Experience Tour’ dates in Spain. The show combined songs from their latest album, ‘Songs of Innocence’, with hits such as ‘With or Without You’, ‘One’ and ‘Beautiful Day’, amongst others. The audio-visual projections...

  • Catalonia's stand at Frankfurt International Book fair, in 2014 (by ACN)

    05.10.15 - 15:45

    Warsaw Book Fair 2016 to focus on Barcelona and Catalan literature

    “Barcelona and Catalan literature will be the main focus” at the Warsaw Book Fair 2016, stated the Director of Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language, Àlex Susanna. Next year it will be time to “set the coveted invitation” to the Bologna Book Fair, he added and declared that IRL is “working hard” on a possible “Catalan...

  • EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete and Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig at ‘Natural gas and the energy security of Europe’ seminar, organised by Gas Natural Fenosa

    05.10.15 - 15:26

    Strategic gas pipeline Midcat will be ready by 2020

    “The EU expects that the Midcat will be built by 2020”, stated EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete. He made this statement this Monday during theNatural gas and the energy security of Europe’ seminar, organised by Gas Natural Fenosa. The Midcat pipeline is set to be built through the Catalan Pyrenees, linking the Iberian Peninsula with French and Central...

  • 58th International Association of Judges Meeting

    05.10.15 - 14:37

    Barcelona hosts International Judges Meeting weeks before President Mas court appearance

    President Mas attended the 58th International Association of Judges Meeting, held this Monday in Barcelona just weeks before his appearance in court for organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. During his intervention, Mas outlined that democracy is sustained by the impartiality of justice. “Any partisan use” of the legal system could diminish this “sustenance” of democracy, he stated. Mas also...

  • Exhibitors at Barcelona's International Contemporary Art Fair 'Swab' (by ACN)

    05.10.15 - 11:44

    65 galleries across the world took part in 'Swab' International Art Fair

    Barcelona’s International Art Fair, ‘Swab’ aims to make the contemporary art scene more accessible to the general public and this year it had a new focus on African and Caribbean artwork. A record number of 65 galleries from 22 countries around the world took part in the 2015 edition of the event and over 200 emerging artists will present their work. In addition to the overall programme, the 2015 edition of the art fair...

  • Woman entering an Employment office in Barcelona (by ACN)

    02.10.15 - 15:43

    Unemployment rises in September for second month in a row

    This September 6,881 people lost their job, which raises the number of unemployed in Catalonia to 513,187. This figure represents the second month in a row with an increase in the unemployment rate, according to data published by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. However, there are 62,625 less unemployed people than in September last year and there have been 27 consecutive months with a lower unemployment rate in...

  • Conservative MEP, british Ian Duncan (by ACN)

    02.10.15 - 14:50

    MEPs ask for “dialogue” rather than “legal procedures” to deal with Catalonia’s push for independence

    MEPs from different groups and ideological sensibilities have reacted to President Mas’ summons for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, who was invited as an international observer to the 9-N consultation, considered “illogical and irrational” the Spanish government’s attitude regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and defined the 9-N as “an attempt to be...

  • 47th Barcelona's International Jazz Festival

    01.10.15 - 16:54

    47th International Jazz Festival in Barcelona takes to the streets

    The 47th International Jazz Festival in Barcelona has organised a public celebration called ‘Jazz and Food’ this Saturday, the 3rd of October, at ‘Parc del Centre’ in Poble Nou neighbourhood. There will be 12 hours of free music programmed for the event and a wide range of food trucks selling international street food. The party in the park is part of a new programme which was proposed on the...

  • Voter casts her ballot for the 27-S elections

    30.09.15 - 21:21

    Only 7.5% of Catalans abroad voted in the 27-S elections

    196,062 Catalans abroad are registered to vote but only 14,781 could effectively do so in the 27-S Catalan elections. Too many agents involved in a complex and long process deprived them of exercising their democratic right. “The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, who lamented that nearly “7,000...

  • Daniele Abbado, stage director of 'Nabucco' on the right, soprano Martina Serafin and barítone Ambrogio Maestri on the left (by ACN)

    30.09.15 - 16:35

    ‘Nabucco’ returns to Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House after 31 years

    ‘Nabucco’, one of Verdi's most famous works, returns to Barcelona on the 7th of October, 31 years after its last dramatised performance at the Liceu Barcelona Opera House. The opera will be conducted by Daniel Oren and stage directed by Daniele Abaddo. Baritone, Ambrogio Maestri will play the protagonist role, king of the Babylonians, and soprano Martina Serafin will play the lead female role of Abigaille. The play is...