• High Speed Train stucked in Lleida, this morning (by ACN)

    High Speed Trains in Catalonia collapsed this morning

    A theft of a fibre optic cable at about 7am this morning caused the absolute paralysation of the High Speed Trains’ service in Catalonia. 40 trains and 13,000 passengers all over the territory were affected. The breakdown started in the route between Figueres, in the north of Catalonia and Barcelona and it consequently affected the whole network. The only trains running from early morning are those between Lleida, in the east of Catalonia and Camp de Tarragona, in the south. Alternative routes and extra buses have been added to guarantee the mobility of these citizens and Renfe, the Spanish public trains’ operator, expects to normalise the system during the day by low-speed trains. This serious incident is to be added to a long list of problems which have occurred in this network during the last decade mainly due to the lack of investment in infrastructure by the Spanish Government.

Neus Català survived Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück (by ACN)

Neus Català, the only living Catalan survivor of Ravensbrück Nazi camp, honoured on her 100th birthday

This year Catalonia commemorates the 100th birthday of the only living Catalan survivor of the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück, Neus Català, whom is regarded as a symbol of anti-fascist resistance. In April, Català was given the Gold Medal of the Government of Catalonia and throughout 2015 commemorative events organised by different entities have been held to preserve Català’s testimony. This Tuesday, Neus Català turned 100 and the ‘Memorial Democràtic de Catalunya’, together with twenty other institutions, celebrated her birthday with the event ‘La vida és preciosa’ (‘Life is beautiful’). The Memorial Democràtic de Catalunya is the public institution which aims to promote the investigation of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship and commemorates the ideological victims.

1 and 2 euro's coins (by ACN)

Catalan Government endorses 17 funding initiatives as an alternative to traditional banking

The Catalan Government has created the first certification that “guarantees” the quality of 17 funding systems which aim to be an alternative to traditional banking. The public business innovation agency, ACCIÓ, has accredited the first 17, which are private investors’ networks, crowd-funding platforms, crowd-lending systems an invoice traders. According to the Catalan Business and Occupation department, this certification aims to promote and facilitate Small and Medium-sized Companies (‘PIMES’ in Catalan) and Catalan companies’ access to alternative funding systems, which are considered a key factor for innovation and internationalisation and are a growing trending in Europe.

U2' leader 'Bono' in Barcelona, during '360º' World Tour, in 2009 (by ACN)

U2 rock in first of four shows in Barcelona

The Irish band didn’t fail to delight the 17,900 people that attended the band’s first of four shows in Barcelona, which are the only ‘The Innocence + Experience Tour’ dates in Spain. The show combined songs from their latest album, ‘Songs of Innocence’, with hits such as ‘With or Without You’, ‘One’ and ‘Beautiful Day’, amongst others. The audio-visual projections played a very important role during the entire show, with a big screen that melted with the band members at some points. U2, whose last visit to Barcelona was in 2009, have almost sold out all four shows. 

Catalonia's stand at Frankfurt International Book fair, in 2014 (by ACN)

Warsaw Book Fair 2016 to focus on Barcelona and Catalan literature

“Barcelona and Catalan literature will be the main focus” at the Warsaw Book Fair 2016, stated the Director of Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language, Àlex Susanna. Next year it will be time to “set the coveted invitation” to the Bologna Book Fair, he added and declared that IRL is “working hard” on a possible “Catalan landing” in the multidisciplinary Edinburgh Festival in two years’ time. Susanna admitted to be optimistic regarding Catalan culture’s international projection and highlighted that this development coincided with the economic crisis.   

  • Philip VI speech in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg (by ACN)

    Spanish King to the European Parliament: “I’m European because I’m Spanish”

    Philip VI, the Spanish Monarch, defended this Wednesday “a united Spain” at Strasbourg’s plenary. “Europe has been built on the basis of adding rather than deducting, of uniting rather than dividing and the ability to share and be supportive” he stated. The EU can count “on a united Spain, which is proud of its diversity” and “respectful of the rule of law”, he emphasised. The Spanish King praised the Constitution and described it as “the great agreement” which “protects the regions in Spain in the exercising of their diverse cultures and traditions, languages, and institutions”. Spanish alternative-left Podemos MEP Pablo Iglesias criticised Philip VI’s role regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and stated that “the king shouldn’t interfere in issues that have to be democratically solved by the citizens”.  

  • Daniele Abbado, stage director of 'Nabucco' on the right, soprano Martina Serafin and barítone Ambrogio Maestri on the left (by ACN)

    ‘Nabucco’ returns to Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House after 31 years

    ‘Nabucco’, one of Verdi's most famous works, returns to Barcelona on the 7th of October, 31 years after its last dramatised performance at the Liceu Barcelona Opera House. The opera will be conducted by Daniel Oren and stage directed by Daniele Abaddo. Baritone, Ambrogio Maestri will play the protagonist role, king of the Babylonians, and soprano Martina Serafin will play the lead female role of Abigaille. The play is a co-production between the Liceu, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (where the opera premiered), the Covent Garden Royal Opera House in London and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

  • Catalan exhibitors in last's Anuga Food and Agriculture Fair (by Catalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Food)

    29 Catalan companies to take part in Anuga, the world’s most important Food and Agriculture Fair

    From the 10th to the 14th of October, the German city of Cologne will host Anuga, the world’s most important Food and Agriculture Fair which gathered together, in its last edition, nearly 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries. Catalonia’s food industry will be represented through two main sectors; olive oil and nuts on the one hand, and cold meats on the other. The Catalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Food is aware of the importance of the EU market, as more than 50% of Catalonia’s food and beverage production is exported there. Moreover, the EU is the biggest consumer of food and beverages, ahead of the US and China.


  • 'Barça Dreams' director Jordi Llompart and Moto Gp wider and producer, Jorge Lorenzo, at the movie presentation this week at Antiga Fábrica Estrella Damm, in Barcelona (by FCB)

    06.10.15 - 17:18

    The movie ‘Barça Dreams’ to be released this weekend

    The brand new movie about FC Barcelona is an emotional journey into the soul of the Club as explained through some of the most important figures in its 115 year history, from founder Joan Gamper through to Leo Messi, and including such legends as Kubala, Cruyff and Ronaldinho, all of whom are essential for understanding how the Club came to develop its own unique playing style, and one which has consistently been the focus of...

  • EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete and Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig at ‘Natural gas and the energy security of Europe’ seminar, organised by Gas Natural Fenosa

    05.10.15 - 15:26

    Strategic gas pipeline Midcat will be ready by 2020

    “The EU expects that the Midcat will be built by 2020”, stated EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete. He made this statement this Monday during theNatural gas and the energy security of Europe’ seminar, organised by Gas Natural Fenosa. The Midcat pipeline is set to be built through the Catalan Pyrenees, linking the Iberian Peninsula with French and Central...

  • 58th International Association of Judges Meeting

    05.10.15 - 14:37

    Barcelona hosts International Judges Meeting weeks before President Mas court appearance

    President Mas attended the 58th International Association of Judges Meeting, held this Monday in Barcelona just weeks before his appearance in court for organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. During his intervention, Mas outlined that democracy is sustained by the impartiality of justice. “Any partisan use” of the legal system could diminish this “sustenance” of democracy, he stated. Mas also...

  • Exhibitors at Barcelona's International Contemporary Art Fair 'Swab' (by ACN)

    05.10.15 - 11:44

    65 galleries across the world took part in 'Swab' International Art Fair

    Barcelona’s International Art Fair, ‘Swab’ aims to make the contemporary art scene more accessible to the general public and this year it had a new focus on African and Caribbean artwork. A record number of 65 galleries from 22 countries around the world took part in the 2015 edition of the event and over 200 emerging artists will present their work. In addition to the overall programme, the 2015 edition of the art fair...

  • Woman entering an Employment office in Barcelona (by ACN)

    02.10.15 - 15:43

    Unemployment rises in September for second month in a row

    This September 6,881 people lost their job, which raises the number of unemployed in Catalonia to 513,187. This figure represents the second month in a row with an increase in the unemployment rate, according to data published by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security. However, there are 62,625 less unemployed people than in September last year and there have been 27 consecutive months with a lower unemployment rate in...

  • Conservative MEP, british Ian Duncan (by ACN)

    02.10.15 - 14:50

    MEPs ask for “dialogue” rather than “legal procedures” to deal with Catalonia’s push for independence

    MEPs from different groups and ideological sensibilities have reacted to President Mas’ summons for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Conservative MEP Ian Duncan, who was invited as an international observer to the 9-N consultation, considered “illogical and irrational” the Spanish government’s attitude regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and defined the 9-N as “an attempt to be...

  • 47th Barcelona's International Jazz Festival

    01.10.15 - 16:54

    47th International Jazz Festival in Barcelona takes to the streets

    The 47th International Jazz Festival in Barcelona has organised a public celebration called ‘Jazz and Food’ this Saturday, the 3rd of October, at ‘Parc del Centre’ in Poble Nou neighbourhood. There will be 12 hours of free music programmed for the event and a wide range of food trucks selling international street food. The party in the park is part of a new programme which was proposed on the...

  • Voter casts her ballot for the 27-S elections

    30.09.15 - 21:21

    Only 7.5% of Catalans abroad voted in the 27-S elections

    196,062 Catalans abroad are registered to vote but only 14,781 could effectively do so in the 27-S Catalan elections. Too many agents involved in a complex and long process deprived them of exercising their democratic right. “The Spanish State can’t ignore such a violation of a basic and fundamental right” stated the Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, who lamented that nearly “7,000...

  • President Mas's interview at Catalunya Radio this morning (by ACN)

    30.09.15 - 12:20

    President Mas: The Spanish State “will do everything to get rid of me”

    Catalan President Artur Mas reacted this Wednesday to his summonsing by Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC). “Legally I didn’t disobey. Politically, there was a democratic rebellion against the State” he stated in a radio interview with Catalunya Radio. The charges are “the reaction of an arrogant, furious, clumsy state, whose pride was hurt, which is incapable of dialogue and which will do everything in its hands...

  • Delight after Suárez's victory goal (by FCB)

    30.09.15 - 11:51

    Last minute victory for Barça at Camp Nou (2-1)

    FC Barcelona returned in the second half against Bayer Leverkusen to record their first win of this season's Champions League. The first game without Leo Messi following his knee injury against Las Palmas saw coach, Luis Enrique bring Sandro into the Catalan team’s starting line up for the first time ever in the Champions League. Although the Germans had taken the lead after 22 minutes through defender Papadopoulos and had proved a...

  • Christian Democrat Unió's MEP, Francesc Gambús, this August in Barcelona (by ACN)

    29.09.15 - 19:23

    Christian Democrat Unió ask the Europarliament not to put them in the ‘no’ block

    Christian Democrat Unió, the smaller party within the former coalition CiU, doesn’t want to be counted as anti-independence. “Please, do not put Unió and ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ [‘Catalonia Yes we Can’] in the ‘no’ block” asked Unió MEP Francesc Gambús. His demand was sent by email to the 751 MEPs as a response to Spanish conservative UPyD’s...

  • Jordi Alba is in the squad for tonight's match (by FCB)

    29.09.15 - 16:20

    Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

    Luis Enrique’s Barça side are looking for their first win in this season’s Champions League following their 1-1 draw against AS Roma in the opening fixture in Group E. Standing in their way are a Bayer 04 Leverkusen side who won their first game 4-1 at home to BATE Borisov. Tuesday’s game at Camp Nou will be their first without the services of Leo Messi following the knee ligament injury he suffered in the 2-1 win...

  • Financial Times editorial on 27-S results

    29.09.15 - 15:45

    Financial Times advises to “give some ground and negotiate” with Catalonia

    Pro-independence parties have “achieved” their goal in “winning 72 of the 135” seats in the Catalan Parliament, stated an editorial in the Financial Times published this Tuesday. The British business daily insisted that once Spain has held national elections at the end of this year, a new government in Madrid needs to enter into talks with President Mas, to “find a third way between independence and the status...

  • President of 'Societat Civil Catalana', Ramon Bosch (by ACN)

    29.09.15 - 12:39

    Leader of controversial Spanish unity association ‘Societat Civil Catalana’ quits

    The president of ‘Societat Civil Catalana’ (‘Catalan Civil Society’), Josep Ramon Bosch, confirmed that he will definitely resign after two years in the position. Although he expressed his intention several months ago, the decision was left pending “for political reasons” until this Monday and was finally announced on the day after the 27-S elections. Bosch’s decision arrives...

  • President Mas voting at 9N non-binding and symbolic referendum in 2014 (by ACN)

    29.09.15 - 11:22

    Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) summons President Mas for 9N symbolic vote on independence

    Current Catalan President Artur Mas has been called to the court on the 15th of October for authorising and co-organising the 9-N symbolic referendum on independence that took place in 2014. Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC), which pends on Spanish Administration of Justice, also confirmed the prosecution of former Vice-President Joana Ortega and Catalan Minister of Education Irene Rigau for the same charges. The...

  • Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy at his official declaration this morning (by ACN)

    28.09.15 - 19:34

    Rajoy offers “dialogue” to Catalonia but always “within the law”

    The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered “dialogue and negotiation” to the new Catalan government that would form after the 27-S elections, but warned that this “loyalty” would be subject to legality and “always within the law”. He emphasised that if the Catalan authorities “are planning to break the law and make declarations that contradict the Spanish Constitution and the Catalan Statute...