• 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 relased 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 Sï’ would win again 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 seats they got in the 27-S Catalan Elections.

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”.

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

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 city of Lleida. In less than 5 hours, the fire burned nearly 900 hectares, most of them cereal crops. The firefighters sent 55 land resources and 3 aerial’s, which achieved to stabilise the fire by Wednesday morning. However, they continue to water the perimeter to prevent the fire from reviving.

 

 

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

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 welfare. Green Markets are integrated into the new municipal policies. The aim is to promote small- and medium-sized local and ecologically friendly Catalan producers within a maximum radius of 150 km around Barcelona. The intention of the City Hall is to spread the campaign to six markets this year and, bit by bit, to transform the whole network of markets in Barcelona into an example of respect for the environment. 

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

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 ‘Junts Pel Sí’ considers voting in favour of Puigdemont’s presidency and backing the budget for 2017 “indivisible”, CUP understands that renewing the confidence in Puigdemont is part of the agreed pro-independence roadmap but not necessarily linked to the bill. The Catalan President extended the invitation to other political forces as well.

 

  • 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 opened a judicial war against the Catalan Government for the art of 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 Lleida since then. In 2013, the Aragonese Government expressed his determination to “defend the integrity of Aragon’s historic and cultural heritage” and reclaimed the pieces. Despite the Catalan Ministry for Culture has always defended the purchase and struggles to preserve these pieces in two fronts, the murals and the 97 pieces of art, on Tuesday the 53 works housed at MNAC will have to be returned to Aragon.

  • 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. 

Highlights

  • 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...

  • Pro-independence supporters demonstrating in front of a police station displaying the Spanish flag (by ACN)

    12.07.16 - 14:42

    Police report confirms existence of ‘Operation Catalonia’ during Spanish Government’s last term of office

    An operation to discredit politicians who supported Catalonia’s pro-independence process was launched by the Spanish police during the last term of office. This is what Catalan newspaper ‘El Periódico’ has published this Tuesday, supporting its exclusive with a 500-page-long police report which proves the plot. According to the report, smearing pro-independence politicians was indeed one...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, addressing the audience at the 18th CDC Congress (by ACN)

    11.07.16 - 21:18

    ‘Catalan Democratic Party’, the new CDC, defined as pro-independence

    Liberal ‘Convergència’ (CDC) will be from now on named the ‘Catalan Democratic Party’. This is what 871 people voted for at this weekend’s 18th Congress of the party, while 657 opted for the other final option, the ‘Catalan National Party’. The aim of the Congress was to reinvent CDC, which ruled in Catalonia together with Christian Democrats ‘Unió’ for...

  • Image of the debate “The Catalan Case within the European Union” held this weekend at Almedalsveckan political fest, in Sweden (by DIPLOCAT)

    11.07.16 - 15:06

    European institutions debate Catalonia’s process at Swedish political fest

    For the first time ever, Catalonia took part in Almedalsveckan, a political festival with more than 50 years of tradition held annually on the Swedish island of Gotland. The Europahuset, which gathers together representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission in Sweden, invited the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), Albert Royo and the Catalan...