• Current Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by ACN)

    Spain wants to claim criminal liability against Parliament’s President

    The Spanish Government will urge the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to allow it to claim criminal liability against the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, for having disobeyed the TC’s rulings. The current Spanish Cabinet, which met this Friday, also agreed to impede Forcadell from launching the pro-independence roadmap approved on Wednesday by the Parliament. In particular, the Spanish executive calls for the TC to “proceed to consider the witness of particulars in order to claim criminal liability against the Parliament’s President for disobeying the rulings of the TC, which all public servants are compelled to obey”. The petition also aims to expressly ban the Parliament’s President, the Parliament Bureau and the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, from promoting any initiative in relation to the pro-independence process. 

Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, joined by Current Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by ACN)

Spain responds to Parliament’s vote on pro-independence roadmap by appealing to the TC again

The Spanish Government has again turned to the court, this time to respond to this Wednesday’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap by the Catalan Chamber. Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, has already ordered the State Attorney to write a document which will be approved this Friday by the Spanish Cabinet. The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) repeatedly insisted that any declaration or action towards the constitution of the Catalan Republic will be invalidated, since this would have emerged from the pro-independence proposal agreed by the Parliament on the 9th of November and which is considered unconstitutional by the TC. Rajoy also called the other main leaders in the Spanish Parliament to communicate to them his decision.

MPs voting in the Parliament's session the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process

Next steps on pro-independence roadmap put to vote, despite TC claims of illegality

The Parliament finally accepted to include the conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, which established the next steps in the pro-independence process, in this Wednesday’s agenda. The decision comes amid controversy over the possible suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC), which claimed that the points agreed by the Committee emerged from the 9-N agreed proposal, which was declared unconstitutional. “We are not doing anything illegal” stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, adding that he considered it “absolutely normal” for the Parliament to discuss the conclusions. In a similar vein, the pro-independence forces, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP stated that they are due to the democratic mandate which emerged from the 27-S elections.

'Junts Pel Sí' MP, Marta Rovira, expressing her vote in favour of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process' conclusions, this Wednesday at the Parliament (by ACN)

Parliament approves a “democratic unilateral mechanism” to split from Spain

The conclusions of the Committee to Study the Constitutive Process, which worked to establish the next steps to take in Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence, have been approved this Wednesday by the Catalan Chamber. The majority of 72 pro-independence MPs from governing cross-part list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP supported the conclusions, including one of the most controversial points: launching a “democratic unilateral mechanism which will allow the calling of the Constitutive Assembly”, the body which will be responsible for writing the Catalan Constitution. Thus, the Parliament has ignored the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)’s warnings that called for impeding any action regarding the constitutive process of a Catalan republic. Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ and the Conservative People’s Party (PP) described the vote as a “farce” and showed their opposition by leaving the Parliament.  

The 12 MPs of 'En Comú Podem' which will be in the Spanish Parliament (by ACN)

‘En Comú Podem’, winning alliance in Catalonia in the Spanish Elections, won’t have its own group in the Spanish Parliament

Alternative left alliance ‘En Comú Podem’ renounced having its own political group in the Spanish Parliament and will therefore be inscribed within the ‘Unidos-Podemos’ Confederal Group, their partner in Spain. ‘En Comú Podem’ gathers together members from Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV, the Catalan branch of the Spanish party ‘Podemos’ and representatives from the 'En Comú' candidacies, which won significant mayoralties in the last local elections, for example that of Barcelona, with social activist and now Barcelona mayor Ada Colau as its strongest asset. ‘En Comú Podem’ obtained12 MPs in the Spanish Parliament, representing the majoritarian option of Catalans in last month’s elections. On the other hand, the other two partners of ‘Unidos Podemos’ in the Valencian Community and Galicia, ‘Compromís’ and ‘En Marea’, will seek to have their own group in the Spanish Chamber.

 

 

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  • Pro-independence MPs from 'Junts Pel Sí' and CUP debating on the law for the Catalan Tax Agency (by ACN)

    Pro-independence groups define the structure of the Catalan Tax Agency

    Governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, the two pro-independence forces in the Parliament, put in place this Friday the basis for the future Catalan Tax Agency. It will be constituted by three bodies: the Catalan Tax Agency, the Board of Taxes and the Fiscal Council. The latter is one of the main novelties of the document registered by the pro-independence groups. The Fiscal Council, a body which doesn’t exist within the Spanish framework, will include representatives from both the public and private sector and will be responsible for advising the Government. The proposal will have to be put to vote after this summer as one of the three ‘laws of disconnection’ from Spain that both groups plan to approve, according to the pro-independence roadmap.

  • 1 and 2 euro's coins (by ACN)

    Catalan economy keeps positive trend and posts 3.5% annual growth

    Neither ‘Brexit’ nor the lack of a government in Spain seem to have affected the progress of the Catalan economy, which registered 3.5% growth at the end of the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. According to figures released this Thursday by the Catalan Finance Ministry and the Catalan Statistics Institute (Idescat), the pace of growth in  the second quarter was 0.8% in terms of GDP, the same figure registered in the previous quarter. Regarding the economic sectors, industry registered the highest growth, even higher than the Eurozone average. Considering these figures, the forecasts for the whole of 2016 made by the Catalan Department for Economy may have to be revised upwards, since in May the body estimated a 2.9% growth for the whole year.

  • Blind woman crossing a pedestrian crossing regulated by an adapted traffic light (by ACN)

    Getting around Barcelona with a disability

    The Catalan capital underwent a major transformation concerning the infrastructure and urban planning during the nineties, mainly due to the celebration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 1992. However, rather than stopping there, Barcelona continued to adapt the city to its disabled visitors and is now considered one of the most accessible tourist destinations in Europe. Various travel agencies in the Catalan capital specialise in providing information for people with a disability. To achieve this, they offer the best accessible hotels, activities and adapted transport. Moreover, the public transport network is fully accessible and several beaches, one of the main attractions in Barcelona, also offer assisted bathing services for disabled people who cannot access the water independently.   

Highlights

  • ERC's spokesman and MP in the Spanish Parliament, Joan Tardà (by ACN)

    25.07.16 - 18:33

    ERC urge Puigdemont to submit to vote of confidence before Catalonia’s National Day

    Left-wing pro-independence ERC are pushing Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to advance the expected date for him to submit to a vote of confidence. Although the Catalan President has never specified the exact date of the vote, he has repeatedly referred to the second half of September. However, this Monday left-wing pro-independence ERC have called him to do it earlier and before the 11th of September, Catalonia’s...

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, and Catalan Government's Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, PDC's presidential tandem

    25.07.16 - 14:25

    Mas elected President of the Catalan Democratic Party

    The Catalan Democratic Party (PDC), the new political force which has emerged after former governing liberal Convergència decided to reinvent itself, will be led by former Catalan President Artur Mas. “This is a new party because we want a new country”, stated Mas in a press conference on Saturday, after winning the primary election for the PDC’s leadership with 95.07% of votes. The...

  • Three sepulchres of the Monastery of Santa Maria of Sixena, currently kept at the Museum of Lleida (by ACN)

    22.07.16 - 18:51

    Dispute between Catalonia and Aragon over 97 pieces of art continues

    The Government of Aragon has launched a judicial war against the Catalan Government over art from 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 of Lleida ever since. In 2013, the Aragonese Government expressed its determination to “defend the...

  • Pro-independence flags during 'Via Lliure' rally on last Catalonia's National Day (by ACN)

    22.07.16 - 14:54

    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 released by the Centre of Opinion...

  • Detail of a ballot box (by ACN)

    21.07.16 - 17:58

    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,...

  • A ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius, dating from the 1st century B.C, was found in the Roman site of Empúries (by ACN)

    21.07.16 - 17:57

    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...

  • Operating cranes in Barcelona's port (by ACN)

    20.07.16 - 17:36

    Barcelona’s port breaks new record: Freight traffic exceeds 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 the Port of Barcelona made up a total of 24.2...

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

    20.07.16 - 16:04

    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...

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

    20.07.16 - 12:46

    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...

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

    19.07.16 - 18:39

    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 approach to the vote of confidence. Indeed, the vote that the Catalan President will submit himself to in September is regarded differently by the two main pro-independence parties in the Parliament. While governing cross-party list ‘Junts...

  • 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...