• The Swiss ambassador in Spain, Thomas Kolly met this Friday with the Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell (by ACN)

    Swiss ambassador to Spain considers Catalan independence "viable"

    The Swiss government representative in Spain Thomas Kolly met this Friday with the Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, and declared that Catalonia's independence is "viable" if and when all the parties involved have political predisposition. Kolly highlighted the importance of "dialogue" between governments and emphasised that Switzerland's position regarding the administrative conflict with Spain's executive has always been "neutral". He insisted that Switzerland won’t mediate between Catalonia and Spain unless all the parts explicitly request it, which is the same answer given to the Swiss MPs from several parties whom asked their executive what would be Switzerland’s role regarding Catalonia’s push for independence. He admitted that the Swiss government and the Swiss companies operating in Catalonia call on those involved to keep "the predictability and the judicial security".

Catalan Minister for Agriculture, Jordi Ciuraneta claimed that Spanish diplomacy “obstructed” the commercial mission of twenty Catalan companies in China (by ACN)

Spain’s embassy “obstructed” Catalan companies’ commercial mission to China

Catalan Minister for Agriculture Jordi Ciuraneta claimed that Spanish diplomacy “obstructed”the commercial mission to China of twenty Catalan companies from the meat, fish and citrus fruit sectors. According to Ciuraneta, Spain’s embassy interfered to “cancel”two important meetings between Catalan businessmen, representatives from the Catalan government and several Chinese organisations responsible for authorising the Catalan companies’exports, scheduled for this Wednesday. Ciuraneta considered it “institutional aggression”that “damages”the Catalan companies who travelled to China and their commercial mission. Catalan liberal party CDC MEP Ramon Tremosa stated that Spain’s executive “contradicts the European policies regarding the opening of new markets”and asked the European Commission to investigate what he described as “Spain’s diplomacy boycott”.

Image of Spanish alternative left Podemos' leader, Pablo Iglesias (by ACN)

Spanish alternative left Podemos openly support a referendum in Catalonia

In order to outline their support for the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia, Spanish alternative left Podemos added a paragraph to its political programme for the upcoming 20-D Spanish elections. Initially, the text didn’t mention the word “referendum”and just referred to “the rights of the autonomic governments to hold consultations amongst the citizens regarding the territorial fitting”. This is still stated in the programme but they have now made clear their commitment to “promote the celebration of a referendum with legal guarantees in Catalonia so that the citizens could choose the kind of territorial relationship that they would like to establish with Spain”. The programme also outlines the party’s will to evaluate and debate the experiences of the UK and Scotland and Canada and Quebec.

Catalan and Spanish MEPS from eight different parties' press conference in Strasbourg (by ACN)

MEPs call for the EU’s support to end Francoism impunity in Spain

MEPs from eight different parties asked the European Commission to urge Spain to investigate and judge the crimes committed during Franco’s dictatorship. “Justice doesn’t expire. We don’t aim for vengeance but reparation”stated Catalan left-wing ERC-NeCAT MEP Ernest Maragall on Tuesday at a joint press conference in Strasbourg. Maragall was joined by Catalan MEPs from ERC-NeCAT, liberal party CDC, left-wing ICV and christian democrat UDC, as well as MEPs from Basque nationalist PNB and Bildu and alternative left-wing Spanish parties Compromís and Podemos. They wrote a joint declaration which stated that “the principle of universal justice makes impossible the impunity of the crimes”committed during Francoism and “forces the State to judge those who were responsible”. “This is not about opening wounds but to close them”stated PodemosMEP Miguel Urbán.

Current President, Artur Mas appeared before the media this Tuesday to comment on Spain's FLA's restrictions (by ACN)

Mas: Spain is punishing us for defending independence

Current Catalan President, Artur Mas, appeared this Tuesday before the media to comment on the recent control measures that Spain's executive have set in place to control Catalonia's finances. "We are facing an institutional attack" stated Mas "Spain's executive is punishing Catalonia for defending political ideas which are pacific, democratic and respectful of human rights". "This is really grave" he commented and added that "the EU should be worried" about the fact that "democratically elected parliaments and pacific social movements are being attacked". Mas considers the specific measures that Spain's government announced on Friday to control Catalonia's administration of their share of Spanish Liquidity Point (FLA) funds is a way of "taking over" Catalonia's autonomy and self-government "after years of cutting them back".

  • Current President, Artur Mas, left-wing ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras and 'Junts Pel Sí' top member, Raül Romvea during the 27-S elections' campaign (by ACN)

    Pro-independence 'Junts Pel Sí' proposes to create three government commissions

    The negotiations between the two main pro-independence forces in the Parliament over constituting a new government are still ongoing. After radical left CUP repeatedly stated that they won't re-elect Artur Mas as President, cross-party 'Junts Pel Sí''s candidate, the 27-S elections winning list presented this Thursday an alternative proposal: a draft to create three "government commissions" with delegated competences. Under this structure, Mas would continue to hold the Catalan presidency but left-wing ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, current Catalan vice-president Neus Munté and 'Junts Pel Sí' top member former MEP Raül Romeva would constitute a "Presidency's Board". The proposal also suggests holding a vote of confidence in 10 months' time to evaluate the evolution of the agreement.

  • Spain and Portugal’s Michelin Guide 2016 presentation in Santiago de Compostela (by ACN)

    Four Catalan restaurants win their first Michelin star

    The Spain and Portugal Michelin Guide 2016 added four Catalan restaurants to their prestigious list and awarded them their first Michelin Star. Two of them, Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch’s Disfrutar and Albert Adrià and Paco Méndez’s Hoja Santa are disciples of Ferran Adriá’s El Bulli, which was five times awarded best restaurant in the world. Besides these two restaurants from Barcelona, the Hotel Restaurant Emporium located in Castelló d’Empúries, in the north of Catalonia, and Tresmacarrons, in the coastal village of Masnou, also received the prestigious award for the first time. Mallorca restaurant Zaranda, which is led by Fernando Pérez Arellano (who previously worked in the three-Michelin-star-holding Catalan restaurant Can Fabes and the Coque restaurant in Madrid), adds its second star to its record. There are currently 50 restaurants which have been awarded by Michelin Guides, 22 of which are located in Barcelona.

  • Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)'s building in Madrid (by ACN)

    Spain bans Catalonia's Tax Agency from hiring civil servants from other administrations

    The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) announced this Wednesday the acceptance of the appeal made by the Spanish government to stop the reform of Catalonia’s Tax Agency. The TC declared “invalid and unconstitutional” article 4 of Law 9/2015, which stipulated that all those civil servants who want to be eligible for a position in the body would need to have permanent positions in Catalonia. According to the law reform, those “officials who are assigned duties substantially matching those of the body and who already hold permanent positions within Catalonia’s borders”would be eligible to voluntarily join the Catalan Tax Agency through specific selection processes. The Spanish government’s appeal claimed that the proposal was against “the right of all Spanish citizens to access the entity under the same conditions”.


  • Meeting of the Parliament's Bureau this Tuesday (by ACN)

    24.11.15 - 19:40

    Parliament to appeal the suspension of independence declaration

    The Catalan chamber will present a plea against the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)'s suspension of the independence declaration. The Parliament's Bureau approved this on Tuesday, with the support of pro-independence 'Junts Pel Sí' and alternative left coalition 'Cataluna Sí que es Pot's 5 members of the Bureau. The Bureau’s two Anti-Catalan nationalism representatives, from Ciutadans and the Catalan Socialist...

  • Luis Enrique announced his team on Tuesday morning (by FCB)

    24.11.15 - 11:39

    Match preview: FC Barcelona v AS Roma

    One point would be enough to send the Catalans into the last sixteen of the Champions League and would also guarantee that they finish top of Group E. With the joy of a 4-0 triumph at Real Madrid still fresh in the memory, FC Barcelona return to the Camp Nou for Champions League action on Tuesday night at 8.45pm CET. Barça are on form. Even without Leo Messi they have just won nine out of ten games and...

  • Port de Barcelona registered 19% growth on vehicle traffic (by ACN)

    23.11.15 - 18:51

    Vehicle traffic through Port de Barcelona grew by 19%

    More than 723,500 vehicles were transported through Port de Barcelona during the first ten months of the year, 19% more than in the same period last year. Most of them, 374,554, were exports, although what grew the most from January to September were vehicle imports (+41%). Freight traffic during the first ten months of the year was 3% higher than in the same period last year, reaching 1.6 TEU, the transport unit which is equal to a 20-foot...

  • Suárez and Neymar once again led the way as Barça routed Madrid (by FCB)

    23.11.15 - 18:30

    Real Madrid v FC Barcelona: Barça run to El Clásico rout at the Bernabéu (0-4)

    FC Barcelona turned in a virtuoso performance on Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabéu, meticulously carving up Real Madrid up and down the pitch to take the first El Clásico of the 2015/16 season by a score of 4-0. Suárez scored a double, while Neymar and Iniesta added one each, as the Catalans moved to six points up at the top of the table. With Real Madrid facing the ignominy of a whipping in front of their home...

  • Suárez, Messi and Neymar will be together again this Saturday (by FCB)

    21.11.15 - 13:46

    El Clásico Preview: Real Madrid v FC Barcelona

    From 6.15pm CET on Saturday, the Santiago Bernabéu will be the stage for the latest edition of the greatest football show in the world, 'El Clásico'. Real Madrid versus FC Barcelona is set to be played as scheduled although a set of extraordinary security measures have been established to increase the safety of those in attendance, after the terrorist attacks last Friday at Paris Saint-Denis stadium, amongst other locations....

  • Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro announced this Friday extra measures to control Catalonia's finances (by ACN)

    20.11.15 - 20:01

    Spain to control Catalan finances with “specific measures”

    The Spanish government will impose special conditions on Catalonia when transferring funds from the Spanish Liquidity Point (FLA). The aim is to guarantee the “transparency”and “the legal compliance of the payments”as well as “make sure that the funds are destined for the planned activities”, stated Spanish vice-president Soraya...

  • 'Speakers Corner', at 'Smart City Expo World Congress', is where the conferences take place (by ACN)

    20.11.15 - 15:04

    'Smart City' registers its best edition yet with 14,000 visitors

    A record figure of 14,000 visitors attended the fifth edition of the 'Smart City Expo World Congress' the summit of smart cities organised by Fira de Barcelona. 465 exhibitors, more than 400 international speakers and 500 cities from the five continents presented their experiences regarding urban solutions and innovative technology. "This confirms the consolidation of the congress" stated Smart City's director, Ugo Valenti. He also...

  • Presentation of Òmnium Cultural's event to pay tribute to the Francoism's victims (by ACN)

    20.11.15 - 14:25

    Homage to Franco victims on the 40th anniversary of the dictator's death

    Catalan civil society association Òmnium Cultural will organise a massive event this Friday to pay tribute to Francoism's forgotten victims and condemn the crimes committed during Franco's dictatorship. The homage coincides with the 40th anniversary of General Francisco Franco's death, who died in bed afterwinning the Spanish Civil War, with the aid of Hitler and Mussolini, and leading a regime of terror that lasted 36...

  • Mossos d'Esquadra's Criminal Investigation division's deputy chief, Ramon Grasa this Thursday before the media (by ACN)

    19.11.15 - 19:37

    35 members of international heroin trafficking network arrested near Barcelona

    The so-called 'Operation Enxaneta' is considered the most important in the fight against drug trafficking carried out in Spain in the last ten years. 35 people have been arrested, 25 of whom have already been sent to prison. 83 kilos of highly pure heroin, 1 kilo of cocaine and 360 grams of marihuana have been intercepted. Several bank accounts have been frozen, and patrimonial assets and more than 1 million...

  • CUP's 10 MPS appeared before the media this Thursday (by ACN)

    19.11.15 - 18:59

    For the first time, CUP don't mention an alternative candidate to Mas

    Radical left pro-independence CUP have repeatedly insisted that they won't instate Mas as Catalan President. However, this Thursday, for the first time since the negotiations with cross-party list 'Junts Pel Sï' began, CUP didn't urge their pro-independence partner to propose an alternative candidate for president. The radical left party did remind everyone that they are still waiting for "a new proposal"...

  • Containers in Port de Barcelona (by ACN)

    19.11.15 - 13:03

    Catalan exports grew by 5% and set a new record

    Catalan exports were worth more than 15,500 million euros in the third quarter, representing a record 5% increase over the same period last year. From January to September, the amount of sales abroad by Catalan companies was worth 47,567 million euros, 6.29% more than in the same period last year. The leading sector in terms of exports during the first nine months of the year was the chemical sector, which was...

  • Catalan Employer's Association, CECOT's president, Antoni Abad this Wednesday at the Parliament (by ACN)

    18.11.15 - 18:12

    Employers’ association CECOT calls for the constitution of a new government "as soon as possible"

    Employers’ association CECOT's president, Antoni Abad, warned of the economic "instability" that political "stagnation" may cause and expressed his "wish" for Catalonia to constitute a new government "as soon as possible". "We can't continue like this" he stated "98% of CECOT associates refuse the status quo". Abad made these statements this Wednesday at a meeting with Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, whom in turn assured that...

  • The main room of 'Drawing Versalles. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)' exhibition in Barcelona CaixaForum (by ACN)

    18.11.15 - 13:52

    The essence of Versailles arrives in Barcelona

    The exhibition 'Drawing Versailles. Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)', from the Paris Louvre Museum's collection, will be displayed in Barcelona’s CaixaForum until the 14th of February. The exhibition shows the preliminary cartoons and sketches that painter Charles Le Brun did for the Staircase of the Ambassadors and the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. The drawings include studies of characters, allegorical figures,...

  • Current Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Jordi Jané (by ACN)

    17.11.15 - 20:29

    Catalonia reinforces measures to fight terrorism after Paris attacks

    Current Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Jordi Jané, warned that the jihadist threat in Catalonia is "grave" and insisted that the Government is "offering its hand" and is "willing to collaborate with everyone" in order to fight terrorism. Although he called on citizens to "carry on with their normal lives" Jané announced some measures partly due to the terrorist attacks in Paris. In the short term, the controlling of road...

  • European Commissioner responsible for the Digital Economy and Society, Günther H. Oettinger handing the European Boardband Award to Guifi.net representatives (by ACN)

    17.11.15 - 17:03

    Catalan Internet project ‘Guifi.net’ wins European Broadband Award

    The Catalan project 'Guifi.net', based on an open Internet, was amongst the five winners at the first edition of the European Broadband Awards. It was awarded best project in the category on innovative model of financing, business and investment. 'Guifi.net' was founded in 2004 and aimed to connect those rural areas in Catalonia and in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula which had difficulties getting a good Internet...