• The CSQP spokesperson, Joan Coscubiela, in Parliament (by Bernat Vilaró)

    Left-wing coalition CSQP agrees to internationally endorsed unilateral referendum

    CSQP (Catalonia Yes We Can), a left-wing coalition in favor of holding a referendum but not necessarily independence, says it will support a unilateral referendum if it has international guarantees. CSQP’s spokesperson, Joan Coscubiela, said that the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's institution in charge of these kind of processes, has to endorse the referendum before his party can support it. Governing cross-party pro-independence coalition Junts Pel Sí celebrated this stance, saying the group “has taken a step forward” by joining those that consider the celebration of a referendum in Catalonia even if it is “without Spain’s permission”.

The correspondent of the 'Libération', Jean Quatremer, and the former Catalan President, Artur Mas during the event in Brussels on April 25 (By Laura Pous)

Spanish diplomats warned French journalist against moderating an event about Catalonia
Spanish diplomats tried to pressure the moderator of an event with former Catalan president, Artur Mas, in Brussels. The correspondent from the French newspaper Libération, Jean Quatremer, admitted on Tuesday that when he agreed to present the event with the former Catalan president, he received some “news from Madrid”. “They called to ask me why I had accepted, and if I was sure about what I was getting into, and obviously I was,” said the correspondent, stressing that he is not in favor of independence. During the conference, Mas defended the demands for a referendum in Catalonia and said regretfully that “the only” dialogue that the Spanish state offers to the Catalan people is with “the judges”.

Taxi drivers demonstrated in Barcelona on Wednesday (by Josep Molina)

Taxi drivers in Catalonia mobilize against Uber and Cabify
The increasing number of licenses for “rental cars with chauffeur” caused strikes and demonstrations by hundreds of officially-licensed taxi drivers in several Catalan cities on Wednesday. According to representatives of the taxi transport sector, these licenses, also known as VTC, open a legal loophole for the unregulated activity of transport services through mobile apps like Uber or Cabify. In Barcelona almost a thousand taxi drivers marched through the city center to the Delegation of the Spanish Government, blocking traffic in the very heart of the Catalan capital, to demand a solution for the sector. Representatives of several taxi driver unions met with the Deputy Representative of the Spanish Government in Catalonia, Emilio Ablanedo, and asked him to communicate their demand for regulation of new mobile platforms to the Spanish Ministry of Public Works.

Robots at the Amazon warehouse in Castellbisbal, April, 26 2017 (By Àlex Recolons)

Amazon to add 800 jobs in Catalonia
The North American multinational Amazon has announced the hiring of 800 workers in order to incorporate their Amazon Robotics cutting edge technology at the logistic centers of Castellbisbal and Prat de Llobregat, just outside Barcelona. These 800 jobs are in addition to the 1,500 hirings that they had already announced would take place over the next three years. 200 of these new positions will be in Castellbisbal, where the new technology is already in use, and the other 600 will start at the new logistics center in Prat, which is opening in October, 2017. In addition, Amazon is contracting highly qualified engineers for the maintenance of the whole system at the two centers.

Official poster of the 65th edition of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Conde de Godó (by Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell)

Barcelona Conde de Godó attracts world number one singles and doubles players

The 65th edition of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell -commonly called the Conde de Godó tournament- has begun this weekend and runs through until the 30th April. The tournament goes back a long way as it was held for the first time in 1953. The competition is organized by the Barcelona Royal Tennis Club (RCTB) and has a big impact on the city of Barcelona and the European clay court circuit given the presence each year of club member Rafael Nadal. In this 2017 edition, the Godó can count on the presence of world number one Andy Murray and Henri Kontinen, the leading players on the ATP single and doubles rankings respectively.

  • Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, one of the promoters of the APPG on Catalonia in the House of Commons, being interviewed by the CNA in London (by ACN)

    Spanish diplomats uneasy with Catalan debate group at Westminster

    The creation of the debate group on Catalonia in the House of Commons is a thorn in the side of Spanish diplomats. The CNA has received confirmation that a Spanish diplomat met with at least two founders of the group, the Scottish National Party MP, George Kerevan, and the Plaid Cymru MP, Hywel Williams, in order to “explain his point of view” to them on the Catalan issue. In comments to the CNA, Williams said that “it is not up to Spain's diplomatic service” to “advise” members of parliament on the “activities” of the chamber. Even though Williams described the meeting's atmosphere as “extremely cordial, as these things are”, he admitted the diplomat was “clearly against” some of the motions on Catalonia that he had promoted recently.
  • Javier Mascherano scored against Osasuna his first goal with the 'blaugranes' (by FCB)

    MATCH REPORT: FC Barcelona v Osasuna: Seven heaven (7-1)

    Braces for Gomes, Messi and Alcácer, and a first ever Barça goal for Mascherano, earn the points up in style. FC Barcelona cruised to a 7-1 win over Osasuna at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, with braces for André Gomes, Leo Messi and Paco Alcácer, plus a first ever Barça goal for Javier Mascherano from the spot. All the talk in the build-up to the game was about Messi who, after his brace at the Bernabéu, reached 500 goals for the club. An enormous flag with the message ‘Grácies Messi’ (Thank you Messi) was revealed before kick-off and it would not take long for Messi to repay the gratitude.

  • Roger Heredia, from the DNA Bank, during his speech in the European Parliament (by Laura Pous)

    Spain’s ‘systematic’ failure to address historical memory denounced at EU-Parliament

    On the 80th anniversary of the Guernica Bombing, Spain’s denial of historical justice or reparation of its civil war victims was the focus of a conference at the European Parliament. NGO’s, relatives of Spanish Civil War victims and the Francoist dictatorship, and MEPs called on the European Parliament to help promote “truth, justice, and reparation”. Roger Heredia, co-founder of the DNA bank for civil war victim identification in Catalonia said that “the Spanish State systematically violates human rights” and insisted on the necessity of raising awareness among the European MPs about how Spain ignores reports from both the Human Rights Council and the UN-Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

Highlights

  • Outside Codorniu (by Codorniu)

    26.04.17 - 18:10

    Codorniu stops producing white label cava for foreign brands

    The Catalan cava producer Codorniu announced that they will stop producing for foreign brands and will instead focus on their own Premium and Prestige products. The company explained that white label production (producing for third parties) is no longer profitable and thus must be stopped. The company said that production for third parties, basically in the United Kingdom, represents 5% of sales. According to the Catalan cava company,...
  • Mossos d'Esquadra arresting a man over this Tuesday's anti-jihadist operation (by ACN)

    25.04.17 - 17:42

    Nine arrested in counter-terrorism operation in Catalonia

    Early this morning, the Catalan police force (Mossos d’Esquadra) carried out an important anti-jihadist operation in six Catalan municipalities. There were 9 arrests in 12 major raids in Barcelona and the surrounding municipalities of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Cornellà, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Ripollet, and Masquefa. The Catalan Minister of Home Affairs, Jordi Jané, announced that some of the “arrests made today...

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

    25.04.17 - 13:23

    Catalan Parliament President to face court on May 8 for allowing debate on independence

    Carme Forcadell, the President of the Catalan Parliament, will testify before the High Court of Catalonia (TSJC) for allowing a debate in the plenary about an independence resolution. She is accused of disobedience for not stopping the discussion, which was suspended by the Constitutional Court after a Spanish government complaint. The High Court has also asked four members of the Catalan Parliament Bureau to testify: Anna Simó, Lluís...
  • Torre Glòries, also known as Torre Agbar, a landmark on the Barcelona skyline (Arxiu ACN)

    24.04.17 - 22:42

    Barcelona offers 'Torre Agbar' for new European Medicines Agency headquarters

    The Torre de Glòries, an emblematic modern tower widely known as the “Torre Agbar”, with its 33.000 square meters and distinguished design by Jean Novel, is Barcelona's candidate for the new location for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) headquarters. The decision was made last Friday by the representatives of the City of Barcelona, the Government of Catalonia, and the Spanish government. The Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau, the...
  • Bookstand on Sant Jordi, 23rd April / Sílvia Jardí

    24.04.17 - 19:39

    Catalonia celebrates St Jordi's Day with books, roses and signatures for the referendum

    Every year on 23rd April, the UNESCO World Book Day, Catalans celebrate their patron saint, Sant Jordi's Day (Saint George). It is one of the Catalans’ most cherished national days, when people give books and red roses to friends and loved ones in celebration of love and literature. Traditionally men used to give a red rose to women and women gave men books in return. But the tradition has evolved and nowadays men and women both give and...
  • Agglomeration at Diagonal Metro station this morning at 7:30  (by Josep Molina)

    24.04.17 - 17:34

    Barcelona Metro offers minimum service during Monday strike

    The Barcelona Metro is on strike today, Monday, which means that service is reduced to a minimum between 7 and 9 am, 4 and 6 pm, and from 8:30 to 10:30 pm. The Barcelona Metro strike began this morning after the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement between the unions and the Metro board. The first visible signs of the conflict were the crowds on the metro platforms and in the metro trains, which increased from 7 o’clock on. The...
  • Leo Messi picked the best time and place to score his 500th goal for the club (by Miguel Ruiz, FCB)

    24.04.17 - 10:07

    Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona (2-3): Epic late win reignites title race

    FC Barcelona left it as late as they possibly could but it was worth every gruelling second as Leo Messi popped up deep into injury time to seal an epic 3-2 Clásico victory to move level on points with Real Madrid at the top of the table. Ahead of the game, Luis Enrique described it as “a final” for his men, and the scenes after Messi’s strike resembled a trophy-winning moment. The team dug deep to breathe new life and optimism into the...
  • Roses are one of Sant Jordi's key elements (by ACN)

    23.04.17 - 19:55

    Catalan culture fills London’s Borough Market on Sant Jordi

    London’s Borough Market hosted the celebration of Sant Jordi’s Day in the British capital. Like all over Catalonia, stalls selling books and roses colored one of the most iconic spots in the city, complete with Catalan food tasting, storytelling, traditional human towers (Castellers) and a mix of both Catalan and English folklore. The Delegation of the Catalan Government to the UK and Ireland, together with the Catalan community...

  • Book stall at Barcelona's Rambla de Catalunya (by ACN)

    23.04.17 - 10:13

    Thousands flock to the streets to celebrate love and literature on Sant Jordi’s Day

    Catalonia’s Patron Saint Day, on the 23rd of April, gathers together love and literature in one of the Catalans’ most beloved traditions. It is the Catalan equivalent to Sant Valentin’s Day and, originally, lovers exchanged books and roses to show their love. However, this tradition has been progressively adopted by friends, relatives, workmates and is also welcome amongst those amazed visitors which experience Sant Jordi...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont shaking hands with Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras during the event to emphasize the Government's commitment to call a referendum (by ACN)

    21.04.17 - 13:10

    Government to call the referendum and apply its results, despite Spain’s threats

    The entire Executive, led by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras, reiterated its commitment to “organize, call, and celebrate” a referendum on Catalonia’s independence and apply its results, despite Spain’s “threats and attempts to limit Catalonia’s self-government,” said Puigdemont. In a symbolic event held in the iconic ‘Pati dels Tarongers’ courtyard,...

  • Roses and books to celebrate Sant Jordi's Day at London's Borough Market (by ACN)

    21.04.17 - 10:48

    Sant Jordi to be celebrated in 50 countries worldwide

    One of Catalonia’s most beloved festivals, Sant Jordi, will be celebrated in a record 50 countries worldwide this year. Although Catalonia’s Patron Saint Day is on the 23rd of April, there are activities related to books and roses—the main protagonists of the day—scheduled over the course of a few weeks in New York, Bogotá, London, Melbourne, Johannesburg, and many others. The Delegations of...

  • Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras and Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, during the exectuive's weekly meeting (by ACN)

    20.04.17 - 16:04

    Government to hold event to show unity and commitment to referendum

    All the members of the Catalan Government, led by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras, will attend an official event on Friday to reiterate their commitment to calling a referendum. The initiative also aims to spread a message of unity among the pro-independence political parties which form the governing coalition, Junts Pel Sí. Indeed, in the last few weeks, some discrepancies between the Catalan...

  • Messi and Suárez gave it their all but there was no getting past the Italian defence (by FCB)

    20.04.17 - 12:20

    FC Barcelona 0-0 Juventus: Access denied

    FC Barcelona said farewell to the Champions League on Wednesday night at the quarter-final stage, with Luis Enrique’s men simply unable to break down a resilient Juventus> backline in a 0-0 stalemate at the Camp Nou  (0-3 aggregate). The game began with the frenetic intensity envisaged, but without the early chances, or goal, seen in the comeback against  PSG last month. A blazed...

  • A bouquet of 'Freedom' red roses and white flowers on the foreground (by ACN)

    20.04.17 - 12:03

    Florists forecast strong sales of roses during Sant Jordi weekend

    Catalonia’s patron saint, Sant Jordi, celebrates love and literature and joins together books and roses in one of Catalans' most beloved traditions. This year, the 23rd of April is on a Sunday and therefore wholesalers expect rose sales to flourish the whole weekend, starting on Friday and lasting until Monday. This will allow them to maintain the same sales levels as last year's and reach the figure of 6 million...

  • The speakers at the debate 'A democratic solution for Catalonia', organised by the APPG on Catalonia and ANC England at 'Atlee Suite', in the British Parliament (by ACN)

    20.04.17 - 11:56

    British MPs, diplomats and journalists debate Catalonia’s independence roadmap at Westminster

    The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Catalonia, created in March by MPs and Peers from all the political parties, held its first debate on Wednesday. Under the title ‘A Democratic Solution for Catalonia’, the event featured eight speakers, including SNP MP George Kerevan, who is one of the main promoters of the APPG, Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, the Daily Mirror’s Political editor, Jason Beattie, and former Consul...

  • Image of a surgeon using 'Da Vinci' robot (by ACN)

    19.04.17 - 18:14

    Pioneering robotic surgery operation in Badalona

    Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, in Badalona, has operated a larynx cancer using Da Vinci robot. This pioneering technology, which was never been used in the Spanish State before, allows to extract the whole larynx through the mouth, without incisions. According to the hospital, this robotic surgery “is less aggressive for the patient and it guarantees a higher security and a quicker recovery”. Morever, the levels of blood waste...