A "no" vote is favoured by 50% of the population, according to the latest barometer by the Centre for Opinion Studies (CEO), which was made public Friday. The unionist option grew 2 points compared to March, the same amount the "yes" option lost, which stands at 42.9%. "The distance between the two options is considerable", said the director of the CEO, Jordi Argelaguet. Until now, they had stayed "neck and neck" in the most recent barometers; although for months the "no" vote maintained an upward trend. When the options were expanded beyond the plebiscite, an independent state was the top choice (37.6%), ahead of becoming an autonomous region (29.3%) and a federal state (24%).
The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, said Wednesday that his June proposal for civil society groups to lead a unitary electoral list "does not at all break" the pact made in January between the CDC and ERC to run separately in the 27-S elections. The leader of the centre-right CDC argued that if civil society groups accept his proposal, civil society "won´t just invite the CDC and Mr. Mas" but "whomever they want" because the list would be "transversal". After Mas made these comments, the President of the centre-left ERC said if civil society groups drafted an electoral list excluding politicians altogether, the ERC would be the "first to accept" their proposal, as long as other independence parties also decide not to run for election. "We will never be an obstacle", Junqueras remarked.
FiraTàrrega, an international event for the performing arts held in Lleida, and the Catalan performing arts scene in general are considered "very inspiring" by British art professionals. On Sunday, they were both back at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF) in London, the UK capital’s leading event of free outdoor performing arts. In particular, five Catalan performing art companies and Mike Ribalta (FiraTàrrega's Head of professionals dept.) participated in the GDIF 2015 Showcase, a meeting of international programmers, in order to present their new projects and seek partnerships. This year, the British festival also has two Catalan productions in its programme: Toc de fusta and Brodas Bros.
The Spanish Council of Ministers agreed on Friday to bring before Spain’s Constitutional Court (TC) the 16/2015 decree approved by the Catalan Government. The decree – adopted last February – established the Commissioner for National Transition, a position bestowed upon Catalan Jurist Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer. The Spanish Government's legal action also targets the Executive Plans for the creation of state structures and the plan for strategic infrastructure that the Commissioner is in charge of developing, in addition to "all the arrangements and actions linked to this decree and these plans, or in line with their purpose". The Spanish Executive has also filed an appeal to the TC in order to automatically suspend both the decree and the plans, according to Article 161.2 of the Spanish Constitution.
On Monday evening, the Catalan fashion brand Mango opened the 16th edition of the 080 Barcelona Fashion Week, showcasing its new autumn/winter collections for men and women. Catalan Business and Employment Minister, Felip Puig, took part in the opening ceremony of the event, which will run from 29 June to 3 July at the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys. In total, 22 designers and 15 brands are participating, in a combination of young talent, world renowned artists and international labels. As this year's show takes place within the walls that hosted the Olympics in 1992, Puig expressed his hopes for the fashion event to recover "all its openness to the outside world, its fair play, its ability to welcome visitors and, at the same time, the commitment to talent and ambition".
The month of July started with the strengthening of Catalonia's business and economic relations with China. On Wednesday, China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB) - the second largest bank in the world by market capitalisation (207.9 billion U.S. dollars) - opened its first Spanish branch in the Catalan capital with an official ceremony at the Palace of Pedralbes. The same day, the Catalan Government signed an agreement with the Chinese Province of Fujian, aimed at expanding export opportunities for Catalan agricultural products and promoting the exchange of market and legal information between the two partners.
Catalonia was last month again the Spanish Autonomous Community with the most intense monthly and annual decline in registered unemployment, official data released on Thursday show. According to the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security, by the end of June 2015 there were 20,952 fewer people registered with the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC) in comparison to May 2015, leaving the total number of registered unemployed individuals at 510,947. This drop is, in absolute terms, the lowest recorded for the month of June in the last 3 years. However, in relative terms, registered unemployment fell by -3.94%, the biggest decline for the month of June in 19 years. Compared to a year ago, the number of jobseekers decreased by 59,267 (-10.39%), thus marking a two-year period of consecutive annual decline in registered unemployment.
Barcelona's summer Festival Grec is the city’s main yearly event for stage arts, taking place from the 1st to the 31st of July. On Tuesday, its unofficial opening took place with two free outdoor concerts by local artists, while on Wednesday the official opening ceremony on, with a new dance show by Catalan company 'La Veronal'. This year, during the 'unofficial inauguration' of the festival, the Catalan pop-rock band Obeses performed, presenting its new album 'Monsters and princesses' accompanied by the Barcelona Municipal Band. The concert was followed by Oques Grasses' show, a local band very popular among young audiences and winner by popular vote of the Enderrock 2014 award for best group revelation of 2013.