• Secretary for Public Health, Joan Guix, explains the case of the first baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly together with Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron Hospital's doctors (by ACN)

    First baby with Zika-linked microcephaly in Europe born in Catalonia

    Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron Hospital has seen the first birth in Europe of a baby with Zika-linked microcephaly. The new-born was born this Monday with a “low” cranial perimeter and has been hospitalised in a “correct and stable” condition. In May the health authorities reported to the family that the mother was infected and that the pregnancy was risky, but the parents decided to go ahead with the birth. 91 people infected with the Zika virus have been detected in Catalonia since the 1st of January, 24 man and 67 woman, 21 of which were pregnant at the time of diagnosis. 5 of them have already given birth, to healthy babes. All of the infected reported having been in South or Central America, in those areas where Zika is most active, and confirmed that they were bitten by mosquitoes during their stay. 

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

47.7% of Catalans would vote for independence, highest figure since 2014

47.7% of Catalans would vote for independence while 42.4% would opt to keep the current status quo. This is the first time that ‘yes’ surpasses ‘no’ since 2014, when the 9-N symbolic vote on independence was held. Moreover, the percentage of those who don’t support Catalonia’s independence has dropped by 5 points, in comparison to the last poll released by the Centre of Opinion Studies (CEO), in March 2016. The survey, run by the Government, also showed that governing cross-party list, pro-independence ‘Junts Pel Sí’ would win the elections again, if they were called in the coming weeks, obtaining between 60 and 62 MPs in the Parliament; currently they hold 62 seats. Alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ would come second, nearly doubling the number of seats they got in the 27-S Catalan Elections. 

Detail of a ballot box (by ACN)

Electronic vote for Catalans abroad to be available next June

Catalans living abroad will be able to cast their vote by electronic means by next June. The system, pioneer in Spain, will have to be in accordance with the LOREG, the Spanish Organic Law of General Electoral Regime. According to Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, the electronic vote is within Spain’s legality and, therefore, “it will be nonsense” for the Spanish Government to impede its implementation. The initative will help Catalans living abroad “to exercise a fundamental right”. The LOREG and the ‘requested vote’ system, introduced in 2010, dragged out the whole process and meant more agents being involved, which  resulted in lower participation. Indeed, only 14,000 of the 200,000 people registered to vote were able to cast their ballot on the last Catalan Elections.

A ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius, dating from the 1st century B.C, was found in the Roman site of Empúries (by ACN)

200 silver denarius discovered in Empúries, largest treasure found so far in the Roman site

The archaeological site of Empúries, on the Costa Brava, continues to provide new discoveries.After three weeks of excavations,  a ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius dating from the 1st century B.C was found. It is the largest treasure that has ever appeared on the Roman site. Archaeologists believe that the treasure would have been hidden by its owner in one of the rooms of the houses which are also being excavated and that he would have lost it forever due to a fire which hit the property. The discovery is in very good conditions and the experts will no analyse all the pieces to find out its origins. Besides this treasure, 24 amphorae of wine have been discovered in the cellar ​​the house, a slab of bronze -'simpulum'- to extract wine and two bracelets. 

Operating cranes in Barcelona's port (by ACN)

Barcelona’s Port breaks new record: freight traffic exceeded one million containers in the first half of 2016

The Port of Barcelona continues to break records. During the first half of 2016, the number of containers handled, a reliable indicator of economic activity, exceeded one million, the best figure ever registered for a six month period. This represents a growth of 13% in comparison to the same period last year, according to Port de Barcelona’s President, Sixte Cambra. Freight traffic in Port of Barcelona moved a total of 24.2 million tonnes, which is 4% more than the same period last year and the number of exports grew by 54% in comparison to the record figure registered in 2008. According to Cambra, these figures “consolidate the recovery of freight traffic and accelerate the figures of Barcelona’s Port activity”.

  • ERC's spokesman and MP in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà (by ACN)

    ERC urge Puigdemont to submit to vote of confidence before Catalonia’s National Day

    Left-wing pro-independence ERC are pushing Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to advance the expected date for him to submit to a vote of confidence. Although the Catalan President has never specified the exact date of the vote, he has repeatedly referred to the second half of September. However, this Monday left-wing pro-independence ERC have called him to do it earlier and before the 11th of September, Catalonia’s National Day. According to ERC spokesman and MP in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà, this will allow the citizens “to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day with optimism and confidence” since the vote of confidence in the Parliament “will be a great success”. Nevertheless, sources in the Government have told the CNA that Puigdemont doesn’t plan to change the scheduled date. 

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, and Catalan Government's Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, PDC's presidential tandem

    Mas elected President of the Catalan Democratic Party

    The Catalan Democratic Party (PDC), the new political force which has emerged after former governing liberal Convergència decided to reinvent itself, will be led by former Catalan President Artur Mas. “This is a new party because we want a new country”, stated Mas in a press conference on Saturday, after winning the primary election for the PDC’s leadership with 95.07% of votes. The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, was designated PDC’s vice president and Marta Pascal and David Bonvehí will be the party’s general coordinators. Pascal insisted that the PDC “has to be a political reference point for the new state” and admitted that a unilateral referendum on independence “is a real option”.

  • Three sepulchres of the Monastery of Santa Maria of Sixena, currently kept at the Museum of Lleida (by ACN)

    Dispute between Catalonia and Aragon over 97 pieces of art continues

    The Government of Aragon has launched a judicial war against the Catalan Government over art from the Monastery of Santa Maria of Sixena, Aragon. The paintings and pieces of art were bought by the Generalitat in the 90s and have been exhibited at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Museum of Lleida ever since. In 2013, the Aragonese Government expressed its determination to “defend the integrity of Aragon’s historic and cultural heritage” and reclaimed the pieces. Despite the Catalan Ministry for Culture having always defended the purchase and struggled to preserve these pieces on two fronts, the murals and the 97 pieces of art, on Tuesday the 53 works housed in MNAC will have to be returned to Aragon.


  • A firefighter extinguishing part of the wildfire which the village of Vallbona de les Monges, this Wednesday (by ACN)

    20.07.16 - 16:04

    86 wildfires hit Catalonia simultaneously

    The Catalan government has set the maximum alert level for forest fires’ risk in 30 regions, most of them in central Catalonia, due to the high temperatures registered in the last few days, which exceeded 40 degrees in some areas. On Tuesday alone, 86 wild fires hit different regions of Catalonia simultaneously. However, the most important one occurred this Tuesday in Vallbona de les Monges, a small village 40 kilometres west from the...

  • Stall full of vegetables at one of Barcelona's markets (by ACN)

    20.07.16 - 12:46

    Half of Catalans consumed ecologically friendly food during 2015

    More and more people in Catalonia are turning to ecologically friendly food. According to the Perception and Consumption of Organic Food barometer, half of all Catalans consumed ecologically friendly food during 2015. On the way towards an ecologically and environmentally friendly city, Barcelona City Hall is promoting some initiatives to make Barcelona a more ecological city in many facets like health, sustainability, trade and social...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, joined by CUP MPs Anna Gabriel and Mireia Boya, on a picture taken last February (by ACN)

    19.07.16 - 18:39

    Puigdemont to meet CUP to tackle upcoming vote of confidence

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, accepted pro-independence radical left CUP’s demand to hold a meeting “in the coming days” in order to discuss Puigdemont’s vote of confidence’s approach. Indeed, the votation that Catalan President will submit himself into in September, is regarded differently by the two main pro-independence parties in the Parliament. While governing cross-party list...

  • Spanish Parliament's President and former Spanish Minister for Public Works, Ana Pastor (by ACN)

    19.07.16 - 14:18

    Current PP Minister, Ana Pastor, new President of Spanish Parliament

    Former Spanish Minister for Public Works, Ana Pastor, will chair the Spanish Parliament that emerged from the Spanish elections of the 26th of June. Thus, the XII term of office has officially started. A last minute agreement between Conservative People’s Party (PP) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ allowed Pastor, a key member in different PP governments, to be elected in the second round, with 169 votes out of the...
  • 'Orfeó Gracienc' performed at 'The Last Rehearsal' the institutional event which opened the commemoration of the 80th annviersary of the Spanish Civil War (by ACN)

    18.07.16 - 23:19

    Tribute to the victims “of all wars” to commemorate 80th anniversary of Spanish Civil War

    Barcelona’s ‘Palau de la Música’, one of the most symbolic cultural institutions in Catalonia, hosted the first of the commemorative events to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) this Monday. Besides its cultural content, ‘Palau de la Música’ was the place were worldwide famous cellist Pau Casals carried out his last rehearsal before the...

  • Catalan President, Artur Mas, after leaving Barcelona Courthouse last October (by ACN)

    18.07.16 - 16:21

    Prosecutor won’t sentence Mas, Ortega and Rigau to prison for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence

    Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, along with former Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega and former Minister for Education, Irene Rigau won’t be accused for misappropriation of public funds in relation to the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. This is what the public prosecutor announced this Monday, after considering that the expenses related to the non-binding consultation were made before the suspension enacted by the Spanish...

  • Members of the Parliament's Committee to study the constitutive process of a potential Catalan Republic (by ACN)

    18.07.16 - 16:19

    ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP agree on a “democratic unilateral mechanism” to disconnect from Spain

    Pro-independence forces, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, approved this Monday an agreed proposal which foresees the following steps to take on the roadmap towards Catalonia’s independence. The document establishes that the “Constitutive Process” will be divided into three stages: first there will be a participative process amongst the citizens, the second phase will imply...

  • Commemorative banner of the Civil War 80th anniversary and the marks of artillery shelling on the walls of Plaça Sant Felip Neri on the background (by ACN)

    18.07.16 - 12:52

    Organisations claim to open mass graves to identify 4,700 missing, 80 years after Spanish Civil War

    The location and identity of 4,700 disappeared during Spanish Civil War remains unknown, 80 years after the conflict broke out. In order to recover historic memory and prevent these facts and its consequences from being forgotten or neglected, many organisations have claimed to reopen mass graves and cancel the martial courts applied to many citizens who were against Franco's dictatorship. "Spain continues to be the second country in the...

  • Police controls at Pertús, close to Catalonia's French border (by ACN)

    15.07.16 - 18:35

    Catalan Police to reinforce anti-terrorist controls after Nice attack

    Catalonia will keep the terrorist threat level at 4 out of 5 but extra security measures will be put in place. Thus, ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’ will dedicate 30% of their resources to fighting terrorist threats, as they are currently doing, and increase this to 40% in Barcelona. The Catalan Police will also reinforce the anti-terrorist surveillance, especially in the most touristic places. The Spanish Police have already put in...

  • Two women working in a laboratory in Catalonia (by ACN)

    15.07.16 - 14:44

    Catalonia leads EU health research funding to Spain

    Health organisations in Catalonia received 43.5 MEUR from the EU Horizon 2020 programme to fund projects in this field between 2014 and 2015. This amount represents 42.5% of the total allocated by this European initiative to the Spanish State, according to figures released this Friday by the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), a public business entity which belongs to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and...

  • Image of an appearance of Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont (ACN)

    15.07.16 - 12:08

    Puigdemont on Nice terrorist attack: “France’s mourning is also Catalonia’s”

    The terrorist attack which killed 84 people on Thursday night in the French coastal city of Nice, while thousands were celebrating Bastille Day on the streets, has been responded to with international condolences. “Today we want to add Catalonia’s voice to those raised in many democratic countries, which respect freedom and religious and cultural diversity”, stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and referred to...

  • Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget at the 21st Forum Investment's opening (by ACN)

    14.07.16 - 19:13

    21st Investment Forum organised by ACCIÓ focuses on Catalan entrepreneurship

    The 21st edition of the Investment Forum, organised by the public business competitiveness and internationalisation agency ACCIÓ, gathered together 700 entrepreneurs and investors in order to find funding and boost new business projects. This Thursday, at the opening of the Forum, Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, emphasised “the need to build a Catalan network of entrepreneurship” based on...

  • Image of the 18th CDC Congress, held on the 9th and 10th of July (by ACN)

    14.07.16 - 18:57

    Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs won’t register the new ‘Catalan Democratic Party’

    The Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs warned this Thursday that it is highly probable that the new ‘Catalan Democratic Party’, the name chosen for the reinvented liberal ‘Convergència’ (CDC), won’t be registered in the party register. Thus, the Ministry have the same view as that of ‘Democràtes de Catalunya’, the party which split from former CDC partners Christian Democrats...

  • CUP MPs, Albert Botran and Eulàlia Reguant, this Tuesday (by ACN)

    12.07.16 - 19:16

    Disagreement amongst main pro-independence parties on what Puigdemont vote of confidence will imply

    The pro-independence parties in the Catalan Chamber, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, have expressed their differences regarding the vote of confidence on Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, which will be held in September. While ‘Junts Pel Sí’ consider voting in favour of Puigdemont’s presidency to imply backing the budget for 2017, CUP see things differently and...

  • Close up of the Catalan Government's Spokeswoman, Neus Munté (by ACN)

    12.07.16 - 19:03

    Third elections in Spain would be “terrible”, says Catalan Government

    Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté stressed the need for the Spanish parties to reach an agreement to guarantee the governability of the State and added that it would be “terrible” to call for General Elections again. Munté stated that the Spanish Government has been “inactive” for many months and warned that not taking decisions has consequences for all citizens. Munté’s statements...

  • Spanish Police carrying out a search as part of the 'Operation Variola' against money laundering (by ACN)

    12.07.16 - 19:01

    11 arrested in Barcelona and Costa Brava for allegedly laundering 10m EUR

    The Catalan Police Force ‘Mossos d’Esquadra’, together with the Spanish Police arrested 11 people this Tuesday during an operation against money laundering in Barcelona and the Costa Brava. According to the public prosecutor’s office, ‘Operation Variola’ is aimed at a group of Russian and Ukrainian citizens who have allegedly laundered at least 10m EUR through setting up or buying companies. The...