• Radical left pro-independence CUP's members at Barcelona's Plaça del Rei (by ACN)

    CUP calls for summit to agree on terms of unilateral referendum on independence

    Radical left pro-independence CUP have formally asked Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to convene a summit at Catalan Government headquarters in order to agree on the terms of a unilateral referendum on independence. This is CUP’s preferred formula, since in view of the last Spanish Election results, they consider ultimately holding a referendum in Catalonia agreed with the Spanish State to be no longer possible. CUP has suggested inviting to this summit all groups which are for holding a referendum, meaning pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ and also alternative left ‘En Comú Podem’, which is not represented in the Catalan Parliament but won the recent Spanish Elections in Catalonia. According to CUP, the unilateral referendum on independence should be “binding” and take place within a year.

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, answering questions at this Wednesday's session in the Parliament (by ACN)

Puigdemont calls for leaving Spain “as soon as possible”

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, called for “leaving” Spain “as soon as possible” and stated that Catalans “not only have to make a change of state but also a change of era” since what is currently going on in Spain “is proper of another era, one in black and white”. Puigdemont accused current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, who is involved in a smear scandal against two Catalan pro-independence parties, of being “anti-system” and called for “leaving” Spain “as soon as possible”. “We can’t stay any longer in such a state” stated Puigdemont. “As a helpless democrat from Madrid who couldn’t change things once said: “Basques and Catalans, run away”. 

European Medicines Agency's headquarters, in London (by ACN)

Catalonia offers to house European Medicines Agency

The Catalan Government will offer to host the European Medicines Agency’s headquarters, which is currently in London. The body, which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU, is looking for a new location after ‘Brexit’ and the Generalitat will defend Catalonia’s “potential in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sector” for Catalonia to become the agency’s new home. Indeed, in the nineties the Catalan Government already presented a “very solid portfolio” to house the European Medicines Agency, which was ultimately located in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. According to sources interviewed by CNA, Catalonia is now “racing” with other countries which have also presented their candidacies, such as Sweden, Denmark and Italy.

MPs voting in the Parliament's session (by ACN)

Parliament dismisses Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office amid smear scandal

Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso has been dismissed by the Catalan Chamber. All the groups in the Parliament, except for the Conservative People’s Party (PP) considered de Alfonso unfit to continue with his duties after several tapes published last week by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ revealed conversations between him and current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, where they both plotted to accuse and discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties, left-wing ERC and Liberal Convergència. This Wednesday, pro-independence cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’s spokeswoman, Marta Rovira, accused de Alfonso of “obvious and severe negligence” of his duties and lamented the “political and partisan use” he made out of the Anti-fraud Office. 

Amazon's Spain Fulfilment Director of Operations, Fred Pattje, attending the media in El Prat de Llobregat, where the new Amazons' logistic centre is set to be build (by ACN)

Amazon’s new logistics centre in Barcelona region to be open by autumn 2017

The leading e-commerce company plans to generate 1,500 jobs within three years of the opening of its new logistics centre, expected by autumn 2017. Amazon’s new infrastructure, which will have a surface area equivalent to that of 8 football pitches, will be located in El Prat de Llobregat, the same village where Barcelona El Prat airport is located, a municipality 10 kilometres away from Barcelona. The decision to expand its operations in the region is “not casual”, stated Amazon Spain Fulfilment’s Director of Operations, Fred Pattje and emphasised different assets besides El Prat airport such as Barcelona’s Port and “the economic sectors around the Llobregat delta”.

  • 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)

    Catalonia to commemorate 80th anniversary of Spanish Civil War

    This year commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), one of Spain’s most violent episodes which led to the 36-year fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. The events will start on the 18th of July, the same day the war started, with a concert at ‘Palau de la Música’, one of the most symbolic cultural institutions in Catalonia. According to Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, the aim of the Government is to fight against “the institutionalisation of forgetfulness”, a situation which he considered “dishonest and unfair not only for the victims of the war but also for the present and future generations”. The Battle of Ebro, the longest and largest battle of the Civil War and the refugee camp in Argeles, France, will be at the centre of the commemoration. 

  • Land where 'BCN World' should be built, near PortAventura theme Park, in Vila-Seca and Salou (by ACN)

    Construction of ‘BCN World’ project to start next summer with major changes

    The Recreational and Tourist Centre of Vila-seca and Salou, the project which was originally named ‘BCN World’, will start to be built in summer 2017. The resort will be located between these two villages – Vila-seca and Salou – on the Costa Daurada, near PortAventura theme park. After numerous reorganisations and changes in the legislation, the project’s hotel surface area will decrease by 29.2% in comparison with the urban plan approved in 2015. The surface area designated for gambling and amusement activities will ultimately be 30,000 m2 instead of 60,000 m2. The surface area for commercial use and that designated for theatres and congresses has been kept the same. Thus, the total surface area of the project will be 750,000 m2 rather than 1,000,000m2. The project is expected to receive €2,500 million in private investment and will generate 10,000 jobs when fully operational.

  • Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva (by ACN)

    Spanish Constitutional Court partly lifts suspension on Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs

    The magistrates at the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) lifted the cautionary suspension against the functions and structure of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which they dictated five months ago. However, they have kept the suspension on the Ministry’s name. While they considered that the functions and structure of the department match the Catalan Government’s competences, as far as they are limited to “foreign projection” they still believe that the denomination of the ‘Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ could represent an invasion of the Spanish State’s competences on this matter. 

Highlights

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, rallied around by thousands of citizens on his way to Catalonia's Supreme Court last October (by ACN)

    28.06.16 - 15:40

    Lawsuit against former Catalan Government for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence to proceed

    Judge Joan Manel de Abril has refused the appeal which called for the closing of the file on former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega, and former Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, who were summonsed for having organised the non-binding and symbolic vote on independence that took place on the 9th of November 2014. Thus, the case will proceed and the accused will be taken before the court...

  • Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy during his first press conference after winning th Spanish Elections (by ACN)

    27.06.16 - 19:21

    Rajoy warns he “won’t renounce his right to rule” but admits to being “open to all formulas”

    Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, stated that he “won’t renounce his right to rule” after his party, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) emerged victorious with 135 MPs from the Spanish Elections but without an absolute majority. Rajoy’s first choice is to reach an agreement with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ but admitted that “if this would not...

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

    27.06.16 - 16:15

    ‘En Comú Podem’ see themselves in the opposition and dismiss third elections in Spain

    Alternative left alliance ‘En Comú Podem’, which won the Spanish Elections in Catalonia this Sunday, aims to be in the opposition in the Spanish Parliament and dismissed the possibility of holding new elections in Spain. The results in the whole of Spain, where the Conservative People’s Party won and obtained 135 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, will probably force the parties to reach agreements in order to...

  • Conservative People's Party (PP) supporters celebrating their victory in the 2016 Spanish Elections at the party headquarters, in Madrid (by ACN)

    27.06.16 - 01:01

    Pro-independence parties see Spain as “unreformable” while Rajoy aims to “defend all Spaniards"

    The Spanish Elections prove that Spain remains unchangeable, according to Catalonia’s pro-independence parties. “The only change possible is through building an independent and republican Catalonia”, stated Catalan Vice President and pro-independence ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, in reference to alternative left ‘En Comú Podem’, who have repeatedly insisted on holding a referendum on...

  • Man casting his vote at a polling station (by ACN)

    26.06.16 - 18:32

    26-J: 46.2% voted in Catalonia by 18.00 (CET), 10 points less than in last Spanish Elections

    The participation rate in Catalonia by 18.00 (CET) was 46.2%, a figure considerably lower than that of the last General Elections, in December 2015, when 56.6% had already voted by this time. Indeed, Catalonia is the Autonomous Community which registers the biggest decline in the participation so far. In the whole of Spain, the participation rate has also decreased but less than in Catalonia: 50.57% have already...

  • Man voting at a polling station in Girona (by ACN)

    26.06.16 - 15:03

    26-J: 32.2% have already voted in Catalonia

    32.2% Catalan citizens have already voted in the Spanish Elections. The participation rate in Catalonia is slightly lower than that of the last General Elections, in 2015, when 35.2% had already voted by 14.00 (CET). The region with the highest rate of participation so far is Tarragona, with 32.8%, followed by Barcelona with 32.6%, Girona with 31.4% and Lleida with 29%. In the whole of Spain, 37% of the 36,518,100 million Spanish...

  • Catalan President, Carles Pugidemont, appeared before the press from the Government's delegation in Girona (by ACN)

    24.06.16 - 18:41

    Puigdemont believes that Scotland could have “clear options” to win a new referendum on independence

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont stated this Friday that Scotland will have “clear options” to win a second referendum on independence, as some Scottish who voted ‘no’ to independence in 2014 were afraid of being out of the EU if they separated from the United Kingdom. Now that the United Kingdom has voted for ‘Brexit’, this threat no longer exists. “Today they lost both; independence and...

  • Barcelona Game World's organisers explain the festival's novelties to the journalists (by ACN)

    24.06.16 - 17:25

    Barcelona Games World to focus on mobile games

    The Barcelona Games World video game fair, to be held from the 6th to the 9th of October, has released more information about its upcoming event in 2016. Previously held in Madrid, the event will now also focus on mobile games, to “open (the fair) to other forms of interactive digital entertainment”, according to Josep Antoni Llopart, director of the fair. This decision was made in part thanks to...

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

    21.06.16 - 23:35

    Spanish Minister for Home Affairs and Anti-fraud Office Director allegedly plot against CDC and ERC

    A recording published this Tuesday by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ revealed a conversation between current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the Director of Catalonia's Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, about trying to find dirty laundry and proof to discredit Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties left-wing ERC and liberal Convergència. The scandal comes...

  • Alternative Left alliance 'En Comú Podem's candidate for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona, Xavier Domènech (by ACN)

    21.06.16 - 18:54

    Party Review – En Comú Podem: A plurinational Spain and a “differentiated solution” for Catalonia

    Alternative left coalition ‘En Comú Podem’ won the last Spanish Elections in Catalonia, obtaining 12 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. Despite having repeatedly insisted on their aim to keep Catalonia within the Spanish State, their partner in Spain ‘Podemos’ is the only Spanish party which has openly supported holding a referendum on independence in Catalonia. ‘En Comú Podem’, which...

  • Núria Betriu, Director of Industry of the Catalan Department for Business and Knowledge (by ACN)

    21.06.16 - 15:58

    A delegation of seven Catalan start-ups attend London Technology Week

    Seven Catalan start-ups are in London this week for London Technology Week. Finanzarel, Captio, TECH4FIN, Private Network Investments, Capital cell, ECrowd Invest and Social Currencies Management are in the mission organised by the public business competitiveness and internationalisation agency ACCIÓ. Heading the event is Núria Betriu, Director of Industry of the Catalan Department for Business and Knowledge. She will hold...

  • The two names topping ERC's list for the 26-J Spanish Elections, Gabriel Rufián on the background and Joan Tardà on the forefront (by ACN)

    20.06.16 - 22:24

    Party review – pro-independence ERC: “We know we have kept our promises”

    Left-wing pro-independence ERC is one of the two main parties that form pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, together with liberal Convergència (CDC). Despite winning the 27-S Catalan elections with this alliance, ERC will run for the Spanish Elections on their own, as they did on the 20th of December. Indeed, they obtained then 9 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, their best...

  • Image of a castell by 'Geperuts de Paris' during the First International Castells Festival, held this weekend in London (by ACN)

    20.06.16 - 14:29

    First International Castells Festival a great success

    Castellers, Catalan traditional human towers, were performed this weekend at different spots in London. The British capital hosted the First International Castells Festival with great success, both in terms of the quality of the towers which were built and the warm welcome of Londoners. “Castells have a strong conciliatory component”, explained Jan Creixell, head of ‘Castellers of London’, “no matter where you...

  • Danish dj Kasper Marott during his performance at Sónar 2016 (by ACN)

    17.06.16 - 21:45

    Sónar 2016 kicks off in the Barcelona sunshine

    Sónar Festival began its 23rd edition on Thursday with its first daytime sessions, welcoming the acts The Black Madonna, Kenny Dope (formerly Masters at Work), Mad Professor, sharing the stage with The Spanish Dub Invasion, British MC Lady Leshurr, and a classical piano recital by James Rhodes to the Barcelona sun. This total of 130 eclectic acts are being hosted at the Montjuic fairgrounds, where thousands of...

  • Cranes working at Port de Barcelona (by ACN)

    17.06.16 - 14:52

    An independent Catalonia would be 11th in the EU in terms of exports

    Catalonia would be the eleventh country in the EU in terms of exports if it were to become independent, and would be ahead of Austria, Denmark and Finland. Catalan companies’ exports to the rest of Spain and to the whole of the EU represent 47.7% of Catalonia's GDP, which is 14 percentage points higher than the EU average (33.2%). 2015 marked a new record for Catalan exports, reaching 102,487 million euros and Catalan companies which...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during the presentation of Catalonia's Economic Report for 2015 (by ACN)

    16.06.16 - 18:56

    Puigdemont denies pro-independence process provokes company drain in Catalonia

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded this Thursday to those who claim that the pro-independence process is provoking “company drain” in Catalonia and assured that this is “false”. During the presentation of Catalonia’s Economic Report at the Chamber of Commerce, Puigdemont pointed out that 815 companies moved their tax base in 2015, which represents 0.32% of the total of companies with salaried...