• The Catalan Government Spokesperson, Neus Munté (by Rafa Garrido)

    Catalan Government to “formally” request referendum negotiations

    The Catalan Government decided on Tuesday to formally request negotiations with the Spanish government on the terms and conditions for carrying out the independence referendum. After the meeting of the Executive Council, the Catalan Minister of Presidency and Government Spokesperson, Neus Munté, explained in declarations to the press that the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, will send a letter during the next few days to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, explaining this position. The Catalan Government avoided setting a deadline for getting a response from the Spanish government and expects a “clear” answer “reflecting the same civilized attitude as the Catalan government” and “an open mind and statesmanship,” Munté added. The Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, said that Madrid “will prevent the referendum” because the Spanish state has the “power” to do so, as it represents, she argued, “democracy”.

The Automobile Barcelona closed with record figures (by Julia Perez)

The Automobile Barcelona exceeds 755,000 visitors
The 39th edition of the Automobile Barcelona show closed its doors with a record figure of more than 755,000 visitors, about 5,000 more than in the past edition in 2015. Sales agreements increased 15% compared to the last edition, reaching almost 80,000 vehicles sold. “This year’s edition has marked a before and after for automobile shows worldwide,” stated the chairman of Automobile Barcelona, Enrique Lacalle. “We have invented the automobile show of the future, introducing a new format and a new philosophy of trade shows that have been well received by the public and the sector professionals. And this has significantly increased the number of visitors and sales,” Lacalle added. The chairman also informed that 47% of the visitors who came to buy a car, showed interest in the “connected car” innovation.

Public attending the official inauguration of the APPG on Catalonia at Westminster (by ACN)

Irish parliament to a create a cross-party group on Catalonia

Ireland’s ‘Houses of the Oireachtas’ will create a friendship group on Catalonia in order to get a deeper understanding of its political situation, as well as enhancing trade relationships and promoting cultural exchange. The initiative gathers together members of the Irish Assembly and the Senate representing Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin, the main parties in the bicameral parliament. Thus, Ireland is following the example of other countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland, Switzerland, and Estonia, who also have discussion groups on Catalonia. Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will travel to Dublin on Wednesday to attend the presentation of the cross-party group and explain Catalonia’s referendum roadmap to the participants.

Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras and Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva, on their way to Madrid (by Rafa Garrido)

Catalan vice president: "We’re going to Madrid to explain, not to ask permission”
The Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, on his way to Madrid to give a conference with Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Raül Romeva, explained in declarations to the press: “We are going to Madrid like we go to any other place in the world: to explain ourselves, but not to ask anyone's permission. The only permission we want and need is the permission of the Catalan people.” “We never miss an opportunity to explain our full commitment to democracy and the referendum,” Junqueras added. Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy raised the tone and demanded that the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, “have the guts to defend the referendum before Congress”.

Konair, Seta and El Xupet Negre on the graffiti spot on the corner of Carrer de la Selva Mar and Carrer del Perú (by ACN)

Barcelona Street Art: A Free 24 Hour Open Art Gallery

The Barcelona street art scene has been active for 30 years. Thanks to its diversity Barcelona street art distinguishes itself from other cities around the world. During recent years street art has become more popular, which has resulted in more art on the streets, a commercial focus and more legal walls around town. According to the street artist Debens, it was hard for artists in the 90s to find places to make street art because of strict conditions. But such authority also had a positive impact on the street artists in the beginning since it produced a “rebel spirit that is very important for them to create”, Debens states. 

  • Public attending Diplocat's conference 'The Bombings of Barcelona and London' in London (by ACN)

    Catalonia and the UK share their common history under the fascist bombs

    Barcelona and London, the capital cities of Catalonia and the United Kingdom, suffered sustained bombardments by fascist air forces during the first half of the 20th century. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the aerial bombing of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) together with the European Observatory on Memories (Eurom) and in collaboration with the University of Brighton organized a conference at London’s Imperial War Museum to share Catalonia and United Kingdom’s history under the fascist bombs. The commemorative event gathered together representatives from the Catalan Government, mayors of some of the cities who suffered the most under the fascist aviation attacks, British politicians, such as Chris Bambery, former spokesman for the APPG on Catalonia, and researchers and historians from both the UK and Catalonia specialized in the Great World Wars.

  • Paul Cartuyvels, Director for European Affairs of Bouygues

    Bouygues: Catalan independence “won't be a problem” for investing

    The independence process “won't be a problem” for investing in Catalonia, said Paul Cartuyvels, Director for European Affairs of the French multinational Bouygues, a company with more than 125,000 employees and delegations in 19 countries. Cartuyvels participated in a meeting on foreign investment with entrepreneurs and companies from Europe, the U.S. and Asia, organized by the Catalan government during the “European Business Summit”. Bouygues is interested in Catalonia’s Global 3D Priniting Hub and considers the country “a natural partner for high level innovation”. The Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, who explained Catalonia’s business assets during the meeting, said that the political debate is not negatively affecting foreign investment: in fact, in the last 5 years Catalonia has seen a 36% increase in foreign investment.
  • Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva (by

    “We will hold the referendum”

    Catalonia will celebrate an independence referendum no matter what happens. This is the message that Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, Vice President, Oriol Junqueras, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Raül Romeva, defended during their conference in Madrid on Monday. “We won’t leave the negotiating table without an agreement and we will wait until the last minute” to achieve one, promised Puigdemont, urging the Spanish government to engage in discussions. “I invite you to address this issue seriously and meaningfully,” the Catalan President asked his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, adding that it would be “irresponsible” not to offer a “serious, real, and sincere” solution to the Catalans’ demands. Puigdemont also warned that his government “will never” give up the Catalans’ democratic right to self-determination. Vice President Oriol Junqueras also stressed that the referendum will take place even if the members of government face “prosecution, are banned from office or are convicted”.

Highlights

  • Messi put Barça ahead and then sealed the game late on with a fine solo effort (by FCB)

    22.05.17 - 09:46

    FC Barcelona 4-2 Eibar: Comeback win, but title escapes Barça

    FC Barcelona rallied back from two goals down to defeat Eibar 4-2 on the final day of the league campaign, but it was not enough to claim the title. Luis Enrique's men men dug deep for their manager on what was his final league game and got the three points, though Real Madrid’s 2-0 win at Málaga ultimately sees the title go the way of the side from the Spanish capital. It was not the fairytale...

  • Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2017 (by BBFW)

    20.05.17 - 10:40

    Catalonia leads Spain in wedding dress exports

    The wedding fashion industry has reached a benchmark at a global scale. In terms of exports, Spain is only behind China, making 755,000 wedding dresses and earning 507 million euros per year. The bridal business has a total turnover of nearly 13% of the whole Spanish textile sector and the most important part of this comes from Catalonia, which concentrates more than 40% of production. One of the reasons for this is that Catalonia is the home...
  • Catalan president, Carles Puigedemont, and vice president, Oriol Junqueras, at an event for a referendum in Barcelona (by Rafa Garrido)

    20.05.17 - 08:29

    Puigdemont says referendum plan should only be summited to Congress if agreement is reached first

    The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, replied on Friday to the Spanish Vice President’s invitation to present his referendum plans in the Spanish Congress. Puigdemont said to Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría that he would be happy to do so if an agreement between the Catalan Government and the Spanish government is previously reached. In other words, he suggested that the two executives, following the example set by the UK and Scotland in...
  • More than 3,000 people attended the National Pact for Referendum's event at Barcelona 'Palau de Congressos' (by ACN)

    20.05.17 - 02:06

    500,000 signatures in favor of coming to an agreement about a referendum on Catalonia’s independence

    The National Pact for a Referendum (PNR) has gathered 500,000 signatures from institutions, organizations, elected representatives, and private individuals, both within and outside of the country, in coming to agreement with the Spanish Government over holding a referendum on Catalonia’s independence. The PNR spokesman, Joan Ignasi Elena, described this “substantial” support as a “democratic revolution” which...

  • The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in Parliament (by ACN)

    19.05.17 - 23:34

    Catalonia’s last offer to Madrid

    The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will explain the final proposal for negotiating an independence referendum with the Spanish Government on Monday at Madrid’s town hall. Under the title “A referendum for Catalonia: an invitation to a democratic agreement” the Catalan president, the Vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will give a conference, which will be a formal offer to...
  • Arthur Brooks giving a conference on "Populism and Human Dignity" in Barcelona (by CNA)

    19.05.17 - 19:12

    Independent Catalonia could have “resuscitation effect” on “struggling” Europe, says Arthur Brooks

    The president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Arthur Brooks, explained in an interview with the CNA how the impact of an independent Catalonia on the European Union “could in a strange and paradoxical way have the greatest benefit that Europe could imagine”. The renowned American social scientist said that Catalonia, with its entrepreneurial culture, could become “an example” to other countries and have a “resuscitation...
  • Spanish VP, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, addressing the media (by ACN)

    19.05.17 - 17:35

    Spanish government invites Catalan president to present his referendum proposal before Congress

    The Spanish government’s vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, urged the Catalan government’s president, Carles Puigdemont, to outline the proposal of celebrating an agreed referendum before the Spanish Congress. She said it was an “invitation” for the “dialogue and debate to be carried out in parliament”, which, according to the Spanish vice president, would allow addressing the celebration of the referendum “where it...
  • The mayor of Berga, Montse Venturós, after testifying before the judge (by ACN)

    19.05.17 - 13:18

    Case reopened against Mayor for not taking down pro-independence flag

    The case against Montse Venturòs, the Mayor of Berga, for not taking down the Catalan pro-independence flag from the City Hall building during elections has been reopened. Although Berga’s trial court decided not to pursue the case last March after considering that exhibiting the Catalan pro-independence flag was not “an act of propaganda” nor disobedience, the court has now accepted the appeal presented...

  • A high-school class in Catalonia (by M. Belmez)

    19.05.17 - 08:59

    Spanish Ministry of Education to investigate textbooks used in Catalonia

    The Spanish Ministry for Education has requested a “detailed report” on the content of the textbooks used in Catalonia. The petition, processed as a matter of urgency, aims to analyze whether there is “partisan indoctrination” in the Social Studies textbooks used in the 5th and 6th grades of primary school, said the association who complained about it, “Action for the Secondary Education Improvement” (AMES). AMES compared textbooks...
  • 'Junts Pel Sí' spokeswoman, Marta Rovira, on the foreground and 'Catalunya Sí que es Pot' MPs sitting on the background (by ACN)

    18.05.17 - 18:10

    Parliament says Government should seek Venice Commission’s endorsement for referendum

    The Catalan Parliament called for the Government to “launch the necessary actions to obtain the advice, recognition, and endorsement of the Venice Commission with respect to the conditions that the referendum should fulfill in order to meet the requirements established by this body”. The Catalan Chamber also agreed to ask the Catalan executive to inform the Commission of the Catalan people’s desire to call “a...

  • Catalan representatives of culture and politics at the SGAE headquarters in Barcelona (by Sara Miñana)

    18.05.17 - 14:27

    Reduce VAT on cinema tickets, urge Catalan parties and movie sector

    Global support in Catalonia to reduce VAT on cinema tickets from the current 21% to 10%. Compared to other EU countries, in which cultural activities including the movie sector benefit from reduced VAT, Spanish citizens have to live with high taxes on culture. Politicians and associations of the cinema sector in Catalonia consider the 21% VAT on cinema tickets “discriminatory” in comparison to other EU countries. In Germany, for example,...
  • Image of a nuclear power station located in Ascó (by ACN)

    18.05.17 - 09:44

    New tax to provide 12 million euros to nuclear energy zones in Catalonia

    The new nuclear plants tax, a tax on environmental risk, transport and handling, and safe-keeping of radiotoxic elements will provide 20% of the revenue in the Terres de l’Ebre and Camp de Tarragona, two areas in the south of Catalonia. The two main nuclear plants in Catalonia are in Ascó and Vandellós, both in the southern region. The money will arrive at the beginning of...

  • The human tower built in front of the Sagrada Família, at the same time than those in the rest of Europe (by M. Martí)

    17.05.17 - 19:58

    Last works on the human towers museum of Catalonia

    “Strength, balance, courage, and sanity” are the four key elements that guide the new Human Tower Museum of Catalonia in Valls, 100 km south of Barcelona. This ambitious project, aims to become a reference for the human tower world. All that is on show at the moment is indoor equipment with the most spectacular set ups: latest videos, support tools, and interactive games. The aim of its creator, Ignasi Cristià, who...

  • Some of the signatories of the 'Let Catalans Vote' manifesto

    17.05.17 - 18:22

    16 international personalities join the ‘Let Catalans vote’ manifesto

    International personalities such as Nobel Peace Prize Rigoberta Menchú, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams or US actor Viggo Mortensen have joined the ‘Let Catalans vote’ manifesto. The document, first published in 2014, supports the Catalans’ “democratic right to vote on their political future” and warns that “preventing Catalans from voting seems to contradict the principles that inspire...

  • Queues at Barcelona airport's passport control (by Gemma Sánchez)

    16.05.17 - 23:22

    Catalan mobilization against Spain’s failure to solve chaos at Barcelona airport’s passport control

    The Catalan Government has announced an “urgent meeting with all responsible parts involved” in order to address the collapse at the Barcelona airport’s passport control over the past 15 days. Government’s spokesperson Neus Munté considers the Spanish authorities’ “passiveness” an intentional “act of sabotage” against the Barcelona airport. The Spanish government argued that the queues are due to unexpected passenger...
  • Catalan Minister for Public Adminsitration, Meritxell Borràs, sealing her committment towards calling a referendum in Catalonia (by ACN)

    16.05.17 - 17:30

    Public Prosecutor sues Catalan officials for initiating ballot box purchase

    Catalonia’s Public Prosecutor has presented a lawsuit against Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, for initiating the process of buying ballot boxes for the referendum. The complaint, ordered by Spanish Public Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, has been presented before the High Court and also includes the department for Public Administration’s General Secretary, Francesc Esteve, and all those...