• Flats on sale in Sabadell (by ACN)

    Housing prices rise again in annual terms after 6 years of continuously dropping in Spain

    The real estate market has stopped its downward trend and has started its recovery in Spain. Housing prices already registered an increase in September of 2013 in quarterly terms, but now the prices grew for the first time in annual terms, a phenomenon not registered for the last 6 years. By the end of June 2014, prices grew by 0.97% compared to June 2013. In quarterly terms, housing prices increased by 1.53% compared to March 2014. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, housing prices have plummeted an average of 32% throughout Spain, with prices equivalent to those registered in 2003. In the second quarter of 2014, Catalonia was the Autonomous Community with the second highest number of housing sales, registering 11,980 operations.

The management of the 2014 ESC Congress in Barcelona (by ACN)

30,000 cardiologists arrive in Barcelona for the world's largest heart specialist conference

This Saturday the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the most world's most important heart specialist conference, will begin in Barcelona. Up until the 3rd of September the Catalan capital will host 30,000 cardiology specialist participants in a summit where 4,500 new studies will be presented about the latest discoveries in vascular diseases, which cause 47% of deaths in Europe. The Catalan Minister for Health, Boi Ruiz, said that efforts should be concentrated on reducing the "inequality" between different areas of the world which register mortality rates that are "unreasonably different".

The Catalan President, Artur Mas (left) and the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy (right) in the meeting they held in July (by ACN)

Spanish Government is preparing appeal against not-yet-approved Catalan law on consultation votes

With the aim to stop Catalonia's self-determination vote, the People's Party (PP) has confirmed that the Spanish Government is already preparing two appeals to the Constitutional Court against two legal measures that have not yet been approved. The Government chaired by Mariano Rajoy is preparing a first appeal against the Catalan Law on Consultation Votes, which should be approved in mid-September. This law will be the legal base for the self-determination vote, scheduled for the 9th of November. Rajoy's second appeal is against the Catalan President's formal call to hold the independence consultation vote; a call that would be issued after the approval of the Consultation Vote Law. With these two appeals against two legal means that still do not exist, and whose exact wording is therefore still unknown, the Spanish Government is looking for the Constitutional Court to temporarily cancel the law and the call, and therefore stop November's vote from happening.

Runners just before starting the Discovery Underground race (by H. Lins)

Metro tunnels of Barcelona host a 10k underground race at early morning

On Friday early morning the 10km metro tunnel of Barcelona that links Universitat and Gorg stations became the track of the second edition of Discovery Underground. This is the only urban underground race in the world going through the centre of big cities and it is an original idea of the Spanish television channel Discovery MAX. 300 men and women with background stories that assimilate the channel's premise "ordinary people living extraordinary experiences" ran for about 1.45h, with the first two people arriving at the minute 39. 2014 Discovery Underground Barcelona marks the beginning of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Metro of Barcelona.

Barça to face PSG, Ajax and APOEL in the Champions League (by FC Barcelona)

FC Barcelona to face PSG, Ajax and Apoel at the Champions League group stage

FC Barcelona learned on Thursday evening that their 2014/15 Champions League bid will commence in Group F, which they’ll share with Paris Saint Germain, Ajax Amsterdam and Apoel Nicosia, the respective league champions of France, Holland and Cyprus. The winners of the last two editions of French Ligue 1 last faced FC Barcelona in the Champions League quarter finals two years ago. Barça and Ajax had never met each other in a competitive match until they were paired together in the group stages of last season’s Champions League. Finally, this will be the first ever meeting between Barça and the most successful side in Cypriot football history, APOEL, who famously made it all the way to the Champions League quarter finals two years ago.

  • Sandro scored Barça only goal against Villarreal (by FC Barcelona)

    Villarreal v FC Barcelona 0-1: Sandro gives Barça the points at El Madrigal

    A late goal from B team youngster Sandro gave Barça the three points at El Madrigal in a hard fought game that Luis Enrique’s side dominated, though they found it tough going at times against a determined Villarreal defence. Sandro ensured Barça go into the international break with two Spanish League wins out of two, leading the domestic championship.From the off, Leo Messi, wearing the captain’s armband in Iniesta’s absence, again looked sharp as he combined well down the right with Dani Alves and the Argentinean and Pedro had the best of the early chances, as Villarreal were forced into some desperate defending.

  • 100 left-wing parties from Spain's and Portugal's former colonies support Catalonia's self-determination (by ACN)

    Latin America left-wing parties support Catalonia's self-determination vote scheduled in November

    The final declaration of the 2014 São Paulo Forum, which brings together around 100 left-wing parties from Central and South America each year, has demonstrated explicit support for Catalonia's self-determination vote, which is foreseen for the 9th of November. The XX Encuentro del Foro de São Paulo, which took place in La Paz (Bolivia) between the 25th and the 29th of August, gathered together most of the parties that are now running the governments of Spain and Portugal's former colonies in Latin America. The support statement was proposed to be included by 3 Catalan parties: the left-wing independence party ERC, the Catalan green socialist party ICV and the radical left and independence party CUP.

  • The Spanish Deputy PM, in green, entering into La Moncloa's press room this Friday (by X. Vallbona)

    Spanish Government insists on "immediately" appealing against the Catalan Law on Consultation Votes

    On Friday Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, warned that the Catalan Law on Consultation Votes will be "automatically suspended" the moment the Spanish Government files an appeal against it. Furthermore, the Deputy PM added that such an appeal will be filed "immediately" after the law is approved by the Catalan Parliament. However, she recognised that the Catalan Government could act in a faster way and issue the decree calling for the self-determination vote – scheduled on the 9th of November – before the Spanish Executive has filed the appeal. In any case, Sáenz de Santamaría highlighted that once the appeal is filed, both the law and the decree will be cancelled. Furthermore, she insisted on the obligation to respect the Constitution and the current legal framework, which is what provides the offices of those taking decisions in Catalonia and, ultimately, guarantees democracy.

Highlights

  • Officers from the Barcelona Local Police and the City Council looking for illegal tourist flats (by ACN)

    28.08.14 - 17:57

    Barcelona City Council starts to shut down illegal holiday rental flats

    Barcelona has become one of the main European tourist destinations and, probably, the hottest low-cost tourism hub. It attracts millions of foreigners each year, many of whom show up in the city mainly for the beach and partying. The Barceloneta neighbourhood is one of several hotspots affected most severly by the tourism boom. It is near the beach and has become the preferred housing spot for holidaymakers. However, some visitors' unruly...

  • Peret singing with his guitar (by ACN)

    27.08.14 - 21:25

    Peret, the 'father' of Catalan rumba, dies from cancer aged 79

    Pere Pubill i Calaf, better known as Peret, died at noon on Wednesday in a Barcelonan hospital, aged 79. The singer, guitar player and composer Peret was considered to be the 'father' of the so-called Catalan rumba, a fusion music style mixing Afro-Cuban mambo with flamenco and rock and roll. This rhythm was born in the 1950s within Barcelona's Gipsy community and became increasingly popular in the 1960s thanks to some of Peret's hits. Soon...

  • Brazilian Douglas Pereira will sign for FC Barcelona (by FC Barcelona)

    27.08.14 - 15:44

    FC Barcelona announces an initial agreement for wing back Douglas Pereira

    FC Barcelona and São Paulo FC have reached an initial agreement for the transfer of defender Douglas Pereira. The deal will cost Barça €4 million with performance variables of another €1.5 million based on number of games played. Douglas will sign a 5 year deal. The Brazilian player will travel to Barcelona for a medical at the end of this week, when he will also put pen to paper on the contract. He will be...

  • The Catalan Government's Spokesperson and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs (by J. Bataller)

    26.08.14 - 21:40

    Catalan Government insists in its "unequivocal commitment" to November self-determination vote

    "The time for speculation is over; now it is time for decisions, and this goes for everybody", stated the Spokesperson for the Catalan Government and Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, after the first Cabinet Meeting held after the summer break. Homs was referring to the Spanish Prime Minister's monolithic opposition to the self-determination vote and to the warning sent by the leader of the left-wing independence party ERC, Oriol...

  • Javier Mascherano (left) and Josep Maria Bartomeu (right) on Tuesday (by FC Barcelona)

    26.08.14 - 18:53

    Javier Mascherano signs new deal with FC Barcelona until 2018

    The Argentine international has committed himself for another four years with the Catalan club, which will take him through to 30 June 2018.There’s an option on a further year plus a buy-out clause of 100 million euros.  The deal was negotiated and agreed before the World Cup. Mascherano told reporters, "I’m committed to this Club until the final day of the contract.  I hope I can live up to expectations of the Club"....

  • Desigual's new headquarters were unveiled in June 2013 (by ACN)

    26.08.14 - 18:17

    Barcelona-based fashion company Desigual increases profit by 50% in the first half of the year

    The Catalan urban clothing firm Desigual posted a €66.4 million profit in the first six months of 2014, which represents a 47.9% increase on the same period of the previous year. The fashion company registered a turnover of €452.9 million between January and June, 23.1% higher than the figure registered in 2013 during the same period. "The results confirm the company's growth, strength and good financial position", stated Desigual...

  • A vineyard whose grapes will be used to make Clàssic Penedès in the Colet cellar (by S. Sabaté)

    21.08.14 - 21:08

    Clàssic Penedès: A new name in sparkling wine

    Producers of sparkling wine from Catalonia's Penedès region have chosen the brand name 'Clàssic Penedès' to identify their product. This variety is not Cava but rather a sparkling wine produced under stricter regulations to ensure the product is of a higher quality. Wine under the Clàssic Penedès name can only use grapes which are 100% organic and which come from the Penedès wine appellation. Josep...

  • Carme Forcadell, President of ANC, in a recent press conference (by R. Garrido)

    21.08.14 - 19:13

    Extreme-right organisation sues President of main pro-independence grass-roots organisation

    Manos Limpias, an extreme-right and Spanish nationalist trade union, will file a judicial complaint against Carme Forcadell, President of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the grass-roots NGO that is organising the main campaign for independence from Spain. The far-right organisation will sue Forcadell for "provoking sedition", as they consider she is "the driving force" and "the leader of Catalan civil society", and the main promoter of...

  • The representatives of the 4 parliamentary groups supporting November self-determination vote (by A. Recolons)

    20.08.14 - 21:27

    Parties supporting self-determination vote collectively reaffirm their will to vote on November 9

    After the controversy of the last few weeks about whether the independence consultation initially scheduled on the 9th of November might be postponed if the Spanish authorities were to ban it, the 4 Catalan Parliament groups supporting this vote appeared together on Wednesday and reinstated their commitment to such a consultation. They reaffirmed their unity of action and their will to vote even if the Constitutional Court bans...

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

    20.08.14 - 17:39

    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...

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

    19.08.14 - 20:29

    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...

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

    19.08.14 - 20:18

    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...

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

    19.08.14 - 10:12

    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...

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

    18.08.14 - 18:57

    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...

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

    14.08.14 - 20:42

    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...

  • 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...