• Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, together with the members of the Parliament's Bureau (by ACN)

    Further lawsuits against Forcadell and the members of the Parliament’s Bureau for the referendum’s proposal

    Catalonia’s Public Prosecutor presented this Thursday a new lawsuit against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell and the three members of the Parliament’s Bureau which belong to governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, that is to say Anna Simó, Lluis Corominas and Ramona Barrufet. They are accused of disobedience and perversion of justice for allowing the Chamber to vote on the referendum’s proposal. However, the Public Prosecutor didn’t bring any action against Joan Josep Nuet, also member fo the Parliament’s Bureau, after considering that he didn’t aim to launch any “political project which disrespects the Constitution of the 1978”. This is the second lawsuit against Forcadell presented by the Public Prosecutor and is expected to be added to her prosecution for having allowed a democratic debate on Catalonia’s independence in the Catalan Chamber on the 27th of July.

Aerial shot of Barcelona's 'Model' prison panoptic (by ACN)

Barcelona’s Model prison, a historic symbol of political repression, starts to be dismantled

Catalonia’s oldest prison, ‘Model’, will finally close its doors this summer, the Catalan Ministry for Justice announced on Monday. The inmates, currently more than 900, will be first relocated to Brians 1 prison, about 40 kilometres south of Barcelona and Mas Enric, in the Tarragona region. “Not closing the prison would have implied 25 MEUR worth of repairs”, Catalan Minister for Justice, Carles Bundó, explained. However, closing ‘Model’ doesn’t only respond to the need for reforms but to a historic vindication from both neighbours and associations. Since its opening in 1904, the prison has been the scene of almost 1,000 executions and is regarded as a symbol of the darkest episodes in Spain’s history. Once the facility is finally emptied Barcelona City Council will put a reform plan into effect to reform and give a new function to this historic building located in the centre of the city.

Pro-independence MPs celebrate the passing of the proposal to call a referendum in September 2017 (by ACN)

Catalan executive receives TC’s notification suspending the referendum

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the Catalan Ministers received this Tuesday the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)’s notice informing them that the proposal to hold a referendum on independence in 2017 passed by the Catalan Parliament has ultimately been suspended. The document, which washand delivered by two judicial secretaries from Catalonia’s Supreme Court, warns the Government of the consequences they may incur if they disobey the resolution. The proposal, presented and approved by governing cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and pro-independence radical left CUP reaffirmed “Catalonia’s imprescriptible and inalienable right to self-determination” and called the Government “to hold a binding referendum on Catalonia’s independence” which would have to take place “in September 2017 at the latest and have a clear and binary question”.

 

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, adressing the press in Toulouse (by ACN)

Puigdemont urges Spanish Government to present their proposal for Catalonia

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called once again for the Spanish Government to lay their proposal for Catalonia on the table, in the case that they have one. “We do have a concrete proposal, which is clear and has been endorsed by the citizens”, he said this Monday in Toulouse, after meeting with the MEDEF Occitanie, a French businessmen’s association. “If the Spanish State has any proposal which we are not aware of, we call them to put it on the table”, he added and emphasised that Catalonia has long been willing to negotiate. The “problem”, he lamented, is that there is no one to negotiate with. Puigdemont’s statements came after the delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, assured that the dialogue between both governments “exists at all levels” and that the Government in Madrid “is working to find a way out” of the political situation in Catalonia.

Clara Simón's 'Estiu 1993' won Best First Feature Award at 67th Berlinale (by ACN)

Catalan film 'Estiu 1993', Best First Feature Award at Berlinale

Catalan director Clara Simón’s opera prima ‘Estiu 1993’ has won Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale Film Festival. Moreover, the International Jury awarded the film with the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus, ‘ex aequo’ with Chinese film ‘Become who I was’, by Chang-Yong Moon. ‘Estiu 1993’ tells the story of Frida, a 6-year-old girl who faces the first summer with her new adoptive family, after her mum died from AIDS. The film, whose main character played by young actress Laia Artigas captivated the jury, is based on the director’s own childhood. Ildikó Enyedi’s Hungarian drama “On Body and Soul” won the Golden Bear for best film at the 67th Berlinale. The international jury, headed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, handed out prizes far and wide, awarding a broad range of international works. 

  • Former Duke of Mallorca and Spain's King brother-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, and his business partner Diego Torres during 'Nóos Case' trial (by ACN)

    Spain’s king brother-in-law avoids prison

    Former Duke of Mallorca and Spain’s king’s brother-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, won’t go to prison for perversion of justice, falsification and money laundering. Less than a week after being sentenced to six years, this Thursday Palma de Mallorca’s court has finally acquitted him. Thus, Urdangarín is now free to return to Switzerland, were he currently lives, and will have to appear before the court in that country once per month while he waits for the Supreme Court's final veredict. His business partner Diego Torres, also sentenced to eight years and six months in prison for his role in the ‘Nóos case’ eluded prison as well. However, the court ordered to his passport’s withdrawal.  The ‘Nóos case’ operation investigated how Urdangarín’s non-profit foundation Nóos Institute obtained no-bid contracts from regional governments, mainly in the Balearic Islands.

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during his intervention in the plenary session (by ACN)

    Puigdemont denies “negotiations” with Rajoy, as report assures both presidents secretly met in January

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded to the report published this Wednesday by the newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’ revealing that Puigdemont and Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, secretly met on the 11th of January. “There are no negotiations and they are not expected either”, he stated during the plenary session. The Catalan President added that “as soon as such negotiations happen to take place” the Parliament “ill have all the information required”. On his behalf, Rajoy neither confirmed nor denied that such secret meeting between both representatives actually took place. The report came after the delegate of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, unleashed the controversy assuring that the Spanish and the Catalan governments held meetings “at all levels” and that some of them “were not made public”.

  • Cranes in Barcelona's Port (by ACN)

    New record for Catalan exports in 2016, exceeding 65 billion

    Catalan exports totalled €65.14 billion in 2016 and set a new record for the sixth consecutive year, according to data released by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness. The figure not only represents a 2% increase in comparison to last year but a higher growth than that registered in the whole of Spain (1.7%) and the Eurozone (0.17%). Thus, Catalonia continues to lead exports in the whole of Spain. This good trend is the result of “the persistent and permanent efforts of Catalan companies, which are amongst the most internationalised in our environs”, explained Catalan Secretary for Business and Competitiveness, Joan Aregio. The sectors which grew the most in 2016 in terms of exports were equipment goods (+10.4%), followed by chemical products (+1.3%). On the other hand, exports in the automotive sector fell by 0.4%.

Highlights

  • Thousand marched along Barcelona in aid of refugees (by ACN)

    19.02.17 - 11:58

    Thousands march in Barcelona urging Spain to take in more refugees

    More than 160,000 people hit the streets this Saturday in Barcelona to demand that the Spanish Government host more refugees from war-hit areas such as Syria. Demonstrators carried banners with mottos such as ‘Refugees Welcome’ and ‘Enough Excuses, welcome them now’. The protest comes after Spain pledged to take in about 16,000 asylum seekers from other EU countries under a quota system agreed in 2015....

  • Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz (by ACN)

    16.02.17 - 19:24

    Spanish Parliament to investigate operation aimed at smearing pro-independence process

    The Spanish Parliament will finally create a committee to investigate whether the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs plotted to discredit Catalonia’s pro-independence process. According to a police report published last July, the so-called ‘Operation Catalonia’ was launched during last Conservative People’s Party (PP) term of office, involving former Spanish Minister for Home Office, Jorge Fernández...

  • First day of the Mobile World Congress, at Barcelona L'Hospitalet Gran Via (by ACN)

    14.02.17 - 18:36

    More Catalan companies than ever at 2017 edition of Mobile World Congress

     

    The number of Catalan companies which will attend the 12th edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC), to take place from the 27th of February to the 2nd of March in Barcelona will be higher than ever. There will be 105 Catalan businesses represented at the world’s largest event of the mobile and cell phone-related industries, exceeding for the first time the threshold of 100, explained Catalan Minister...

  • Spanish Constitutional Court's building, in Madrid (by ACN)

    14.02.17 - 14:35

    TC suspends referendum resolution and could take further legal action against Forcadell

    The commitment taken by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to call a referendum in autumn 2017, regardless of the Spanish Government’s position, has been definitely suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Although the body had already ordered a cautionary suspension of the governing party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP joint proposal on this matter, this Tuesday the resolution...

  • Around 300 businessmen from Catalonia and Valencia gathered together to defend the Mediterranean corridor (by ACN)

    13.02.17 - 18:24

    Catalan and Valencian businessmen urge Spanish Goverment to build Mediterranean Railway Corridor

    The Valencian Association of Businessmen and ‘Cercle d’Economia’, the main Catalan economic forum open to businesspeople and academics organised a summit this Monday to urge the Spanish Government to build the Mediterranean Railway Corridor. “The main problems are the lack of political will”, stated Vicente Boluda, president of the Valencian Association of Businessmen. In a similar sense, ‘Cercle...

  • Family picture of the volunteers and associations launching the campaign 'Our Home, Your Home' on the 29th of November 2016 (by ACN).

    13.02.17 - 12:37

    Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi hosts massive concert in aid of refugees

    More than 15,000 people attended the concert ‘Our home, your home’ which is part of the homonymous campaign aimed to emphasise Catalonia’s willingness to welcome refugees. 50 artists of different origins and musical styles contributed to make the public aware of the humanitarian crisis which has left, according to the UN, more than 200 million people worldwide escaping from war and poverty. The promoters of the...

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas and former Catalan Ministers Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau leaving Barcelona's High Court (by ACN)

    10.02.17 - 18:51

    Mas at 9-N trial: “We didn’t disobey but faced up to the Spanish State”

    Those summonsed over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence “didn’t disobey” the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) ban by allowing the non-binding consultation in 2014 but “faced up to the Spanish State, which was abusing its power”. This is what former Catalan President, Artur Mas, explained before the judge at the 9-N trial’s last session this Friday. He made such a statement also in relation to the...

  • Representatives of the Public Prosecutor's office and the popular accusation during 9-N trial (by ACN)

    10.02.17 - 15:06

    Public Prosecutor denies Spanish Government pressure over 9-N trial

    The last day of the 9-N trial over the symbolic vote on independence, which took place in 2014, saw the Public Prosecutor, Emilio Sánchez-Ulled’s conclusions. “It is enough of what has been organised around this”, stated Sánchez-Ulled and denied having been put under any pressure by the Spanish Government, as many who consider this trial a political one have repeatedly claimed. “I haven’t received...

  • Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, at the Financial Times headquarters, in London (by ACN)

    09.02.17 - 18:13

    Government to open six new trade and investment offices worldwide

    The Catalan Ministry for Business and Knowledge will invest 1.2 MEUR this year to increase Catalonia’s trade and investment office network abroad. In particular, six new centres will be opened in 2017, which will be added to the 36 which are already functioning on each of the five continents. The new offices will be located in Havana, Los Angeles, Tehran, Zagreb, Amsterdam and Nairobi. Thus, Catalan business will be represented in 109...

  • EPP MEP Csaba Sógor interviewed by the CNA (by ACN)

    09.02.17 - 13:20

    MEPs from all parties consider 9-N trial “counterproductive” and call for "political” solution

    The trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014, which took before Barcelona’s High Court former Catalan President Artur Mas amongst other members of the Government has provoked reactions within and outside of Catalonia. MEPs from all parties have told the CNA that Catalonia and Spain should look for “a political” solution to their differences rather than resorting to the court. “Politicising the...

  • Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and current Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified before Barcelona’s High Court over 9-N symbolic vote on independence (by ACN),

    08.02.17 - 18:48

    Homs during 9-N trial: “We were not violating any law”

    Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and now Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified this Wednesday before Barcelona’s High Court, during the trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Homs, who was former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right hand man at the time when the non-binding consultation took place, in 2014, gave his testimony as...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during his intervention in the Parliament's plenary session (by ACN)

    08.02.17 - 13:02

    Puigdemont: “Spanish democracy has gotten sick”

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, opened this Wednesday’s plenary session in the Parliament and commented on the trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, which is taking place this week. “Spanish democracy has gotten sick” he said and accused the Spanish State of taking former Catalan President, Artur Mas and former Catalan Minsters, Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega before the court “without blushing”...

  •  Suárez celebrates his goal which eventually proved the difference between the two sides over two (by FC)

    08.02.17 - 09:30

    FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid: Barça battle through to the final! (1-1)

    1-1 draw against Atlético puts blaugranes into Copa del Rey final against Celta or Alavés. The blaugranes have reached the domestic cup final in seven of the last nine seasons and are currently the team who have won the competition on most occasions, 28 to be precise. Luis Suárez’s tap-in just before half-time was enough to see the Catalans into fourth consecutive Copa del Rey final...

  • MPs in the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)

    07.02.17 - 19:14

    ‘Ciutadans’ and PSC to delay budget amid controversy over referendum allocation

    Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) will take the budget bill for 2017, which was due to be put to vote this February, to the Council for Statutory Guarantees. The function of the body is to check whether the regulations of the Catalan Government comply with the Catalan Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution. The spokesperson of ‘Ciutadans’ and PSC in the Parliament considers...

  • Former director of Barcelona’s Department for Education, Montserrat Llobet, testifying before Barcelona's High Court (by ACN)

    07.02.17 - 14:25

    9-N trial proceedings focus now on Ministry for Education’s role

     

    The trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014, which took before Barcelona’s High Court former Catalan President Artur Mas amongst other members of the Government continues. This Tuesday, after Mas and former Catalan Ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega’s testimony, the judges are analysing the role of the Catalan Ministry for Education in the non-binding consultation and several education...

  • Barça players celebrating a goal (by FCB)

    07.02.17 - 14:11

    Match Preview: FC Barcelona v Atlético Madrid

    Barça hold a 2–1 aggregate advantage as they look to deliver a knockout punch at home for the fourth straight round and continue down the path to a rare Copa del Rey three-peat. In this season's Copa, which Camp Nou has been the scene of an impressive trio of second leg victories — in the last 32, in the last 16, and in the quarter-finals. And on Tuesday night, at 9.00pm CET the Catalans, now in...