• "Unacceptable" says Catalan President about Spain’s use of favors to force international opposition

    Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, responded angrily to the confirmation from former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo that the Spanish Government had pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. “It’s unacceptable,” he said and called for Margallo to explain which commitments he made, under whose authority and “what favors Spain owes” in exchange for these position statements. According to Puigdemont, Margallo’s confession proves the Catalan Government’s claims that the Spanish State “is doing everything in its power” so that Catalan representatives “are not received, listened to, or taken into account”. “I hope that the Spanish political system is democratically mature enough to demand an explanation from Mr. Margallo in Parliamentary session,” he added.

Ship at Tarragona's Port (by ACN)

Foreign investments in Catalonia in 2016 reach €4.8 billion

Foreign investment in Catalonia throughout 2016 totaled €4.8billion, 1.3% less than in 2015. Indeed, 2015 had set a historic record in terms of foreign investment, registering a 57.8% growth in comparison to the previous year. Despite this slight decrease, 2016 represents the second best year in the historic series, according to data published this Tuesday by the Spanish Ministry for Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Moreover, Catalonia ranks second in terms of foreign investment in Spain, Accounting for 20% of the investment and only surpassed by Madrid, which attracts 46.7% of foreign capital. Regarding Catalan exports, they totaled €5.3 billion in January, the highest figure for this month since 2000. This data confirms Catalonia as the leading territory in Spain in terms of exports followed by Andalusia, whose exports totaled €2.5 billion.

Frame of 'The Chechen Family', which wins the 19th edition of DocsBarcelona (by ACN)

DocsBarcelona to screen ‘Hacking Justice’

DocsBarcelona International Festival celebrates its 20th Edition between May 18th and May 28th. The festival now lasts ten days instead of five, so that this year’s edition can include a record 90 documentaries. One of the most outstanding films is the Catalan-German production ‘Hacking Justice’ which tells the story of Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who fought to prove the innocence of ‘Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange. DocsBarcelona received over 500 projects from 65 different countries worldwide, a figure which represents a 14% increase in the number of submissions in comparison to last year, consolidating the festival at an international scale.

Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Catalan Vice-president, Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, before entering Barcelona's High Court (by ACN)

Catalan leaders sentenced over independence vote say fundamental rights violated

The sentences regarding the November 9th, 2014 vote on independence, including hefty fines and a ban from public office of the main political leaders responsible, may violate fundamental rights say the lawyers of former Catalan President, Artur Mas, Catalan VP Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau. They have appealed to Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC). Last week, Mas was sentenced to a two-year ban from holding public office and fined €36,500 for allowing the non-binding consultation to take place in 2014. Ortega and Rigau were also banned from taking public office for a period of 1 year and 9 months and 1 year and 6 months and fined €30,000 and €24,000, respectively.

ICO's oncologist, Doctor Joaquim Bosch (by ACN)

Catalans abroad get access to health services in Catalonia

Catalans living abroad will have access to medical care through a new medical card whenever they travel home. Such was the agreement reached this Monday between Catalonia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, the Health Department, the Department for Labour and Social Affairs, and the Department for Culture. This new medical card will be valid for two months and could be extended with proper justification. Those eligible for the card must apply for it and then activate it while in Catalonia, either by calling 061 or going to their corresponding health clinic. The agreement will also allow Catalans living abroad to access services related to the culture and youth services. Catalonia’s Minister for Health, Toni Comín, explained that this agreement covers what the law for universal access to health care will guarantee once it is passed by the Parliament.

  • Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo

    Spain compelled other governments to oppose Catalonia’s independence

    Former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo, admitted that the Spanish Government pressured other governments to give statements against Catalonia’s pro-independence process. “Nobody knows all the favors we owe in exchange for the statements we got,” he said this Wednesday in an interview on Spanish TV. According to Margallo, the normal procedure when a public representative is asked about such a question is to demur, saying it is an “internal matter”.  Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, considered the facts “very serious” and urged the former Minister to give further explanations.

  • Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and PDeCAT MP in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testifying before Spanish Supreme Court (by ACN)

    Mas former right hand man also banned from public office over independence vote

    Former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right-hand man, Francesc Homs, has been sentenced to a 1 year and 6 months ban from holding public office for allowing a symbolic vote on Catalan independence to take place on November 9, 2014. The magistrates in the Spanish Supreme Court found Homs, who is currently a sitting MP and the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, guilty of disobedience but absolved him from charges of perversion of justice. Earlier this month, Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) also banned Mas from public office for 2 years and fined him €36,000. Former Vice president Joana Ortega and former Education Minister Irene Rigau were banned from holding public office for a period of 1 year and 9 months and 1 year and 6 months. They will have to pay fines of €30,000 and €24,000, respectively.

  • CUP MPs during the budget for 2017 vote in the Parliament (by ACN)

    Parliament passes 2017 budget, which foresees allocation for the referendum

    The pro-independence parties in the Catalan Chamber, governing cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP have passed the 2017 budget. The bill has been described as the last budget of the autonomic period, since it foresees calling a referendum on independence next September. Last June, CUP refused to pass the bill for 2016 which led to the vote of confidence promoted by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont. They considered the numbers presented then to be “too autonomic” rather than responding to the pro-independence aspirations of Catalonia. After a new draft was presented last November, increasing the social expenditure and reinforcing the government’s commitment to call a referendum, CUP have accepted the bill. However, they have urged the Catalan Government to announce the date and the question of the referendum as quick as possible.

Highlights

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras during a meeting (by ACN)

    20.03.17 - 14:08

    Catalan President and VP to Spanish President: We won’t give up on referendum

    ‘Let dialogue win, let the ballot boxes decide,’ reas the title of the joint editorial this Sunday in Spain’s principal daily, El País, written by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Catalan Vice President, Oriol Junqueras. The Catalan leaders lamented Madrid’s “direct opposition” to putting out the ballot boxes and warned Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, that the referendum will take place...

  • Virtual image of 'LEVEL', the new IAG's low-cost branch (by IAG)

    17.03.17 - 18:30

    IAG announces new low-cost transcontinental carrier in Barcelona

    Barcelona’s El Prat airport will be connected with two US and two South American cities starting in June 2017 thanks to LEVEL, the new low-cost carrier of International Airlines Group (IAG). The company chose the Catalan capital to introduce its new brand because of its “international touristic appeal” and also because of the connections from Barcelona’s El Prat airport through Vueling, IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh...

  • SNP MP, George Kerevan, chairman of the APPG on Catalonia (by ACN)

    16.03.17 - 18:07

    British MPs defend Catalonia’s democratic right to call a referendum

    An ‘Early Day Motion’ on Catalonia’s right to hold a referendum has been presented this Thursday to the House of Commons. Titled ‘Democracy in Catalonia’ the petition calls on the British Government “to declare its adherence” to the right of “democratically elected parliamentarians to hold a referendum” in accordance with “the needs and wishes of their people”. Moreover, the...

  • Spanish Constitutional Court's President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, left office this Wednesday (by ACN)

    15.03.17 - 18:49

    “Political dialogue urgently needed,” says Spanish Constitutional Court President in resignation speech

    The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) one of the legal bodies responsible for suspending the most initiatives aimed at executing Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap in the last few years, replaced its president this Wednesday. Francisco Pérez de los Cobos stepped down after nearly four years in office and took the opportunity to call for “political dialogue” . He defended Spain’s unity but admitted that the...

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, former Catalan Vice-president, Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education, Irene Rigau, before entering Barcelona's High Court (by ACN)

    15.03.17 - 08:44

    Mas, Ortega and Rigau could show the world “how weak democracy is in Spain”

    Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, referred this Tuesday to the Constitutional Court’s decision to ban from public office the political figures responsible for the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, which took place in 2014. According to Munté, sentencing former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vice President Joana Ortega and former Catalan Minister for Education Irene Rigau for allowing the non-binding...

  • EU Prize for Woman Innovators poster (by European Commission)

    10.03.17 - 15:58

    Two Catalan researchers finalists at EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017

    Two Catalan researchers, Gemma Galdon and Isabel Trillas were amongst the finalists at EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017, an initiative promoted by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation together with the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. Galdon is a policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impacts of data-intensive technologies while Trillas is full...

  • Former Catalan President, Artur Mas, interviewed by the CNA in London (by ACN)

    09.03.17 - 15:22

    Mas to appear before the Parliament over CDC illegal funding

    All the parties in the Catalan chamber except from governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ urged former Catalan President, Artur Mas, to appear before the Parliament over CDC irregular funding. He will have to do so after the main figures accused in the ‘Palau Case’ assured that former CDC, now renamed as the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT), received commissions from Ferrovial construction company...

  • Fèlix Millet and Jordi Montull, former directors of 'Palau de la Música' concert hall in Barcelona, sitting on the dock (by ACN)

    09.03.17 - 11:47

    Millet and Montull admit Ferrovial paid irregular commissions to CDC through donations made to ‘Palau de la Música’

    Fèlix Millet and Jordi Montull, the main managers of Palau de la Música concert hall between 1990 and 2009 testified before the judge this week, over one of the biggest corruption scandals affecting former governing party ‘Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya’ (CDC), which ruled in Catalonia in coalition with Christian Democrat Unió for more than 20 years. The so-called ‘Palau...

  • Leo Messi celebrating epic victory against PSG (6-1) at Camp Nou (by FCB)

    09.03.17 - 08:35

    FC Barcelona 6-1 PSG: Miracle makers!

    The famous Camp Nou has seen more incredible moments than most, but it will take an almighty effort to top what was witnessed on 8 March 2017. Barça pull off one of the most epic comebacks in the history of the Champions League to get into the quarter-finals, scoring three in the last seven minutes to clinch a 6-5 aggregate win. But if anyone was to achieve the inconceivable, it was always going to be...

  • PSG ran out 4-0 winners at the Parc des Princes (by FCB)

    08.03.17 - 18:39

    MATCH PREVIEW: FC Barcelona v Paris Saint Germain

    Difficult. Very, very difficult. But not impossible. At the club and all around the city there is a shared belief that the team can turn around the 4-0 deficit. What's certain is that Barça will not be going out without a fight... No team has ever managed to turn around a four-goal deficit in UCL knockout history, but after seeing some glorious football in the last two games at the Camp Nou, there is a very strong belief among...

  • Catalan pro-independence demonstrators in front of the British Parliament on Catalonia's National Day (by ACN)

    08.03.17 - 18:20

    Westminster to create All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia

    The British Parliament has registered an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to discuss the political situation in Catalonia. The initiative will be made official on the 14th of March in London and includes 20 MPs from the main British parties, from Conservatives to Labour, all the way up to the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Welsh Plaid Cymru. Indeed, SNP MP George Kerevan was one of the main promoters of the group. Kerevan...

  • Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy, Oriol Junqueras and Parliament's President, Carme Forcadell, presenting the budget for 2017 (by ACN)

    03.03.17 - 14:07

    Council of Statutory Guarantees backs allocation for referendum but denies Government's competences

    The Council for Statutory Guarantees, the body responsible for checking whether the Catalan Government’s regulations comply with the Catalan Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution, approved the additional allocation included in the budget for 2017 in order to call a referendum on independence in September. In particular, the bill establishes €5 million for electoral processes and €0.8 million for...

  • A man takes a picture of the Mobile World Congress' main entrance, at L'Hospitalet Gran Via (by ACN)

    02.03.17 - 18:31

    Mobile World Congres closes its best edition ever with a record 108,000 visitors

    The 2017 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) registered a record participation of 108,000 visitors from 203 countries worldwide, 7% more than last year’s edition, according to figures released this Thursday by the event organisers GSMA. Those who passed through the MWC’s main venues at L’Hospitalet Gran Via and Fira de Montjuic were mostly senior executives, including 6,100 CEOs. The economic impact in...

  • General shot of the '4 Years From Now' section of the MWC (by ACN)

    28.02.17 - 15:08

    ‘4 Years From Now’, the meeting point for start-ups at Mobile World Congress

    4 Years From Now (4YFN), is the start-up business platform launched by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona that enables start-ups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures together. During its opening this Monday within the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget described it as “great showcase” and emphasised its growing influence. “It has become a...

  • 'En Comú Podem' leader, Xavier Domènech, during his press conference at the European Parliament (by ACN)

    28.02.17 - 14:25

    EU support for referendum “to be gained through persistence rather than urgency”, says ‘En Comú Podem’ leader

    ‘En Comú Podem’, the alternative left coalition which won the last Spanish Elections in Catalonia, obtaining 12 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, bid for “finding alliances” and “fighting for the recognition of Catalonia’s right to decide” before setting out other scenarios “which are not real yet”. These are some of the key points which...

  • Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and PDeCAT MP in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testifying before Spanish Supreme Court (by ACN)

    27.02.17 - 18:17

    Homs at 9-N trial: “We couldn’t do anything else, freedom was at stake”

    Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified before the Spanish Supreme Court this Monday over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, which took place in 2014. Homs responded to the Public Prosecutor’s accusation of disobedience and perversion of justice for co-organising the consultation and insisted that the...