• The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in Madrid (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

    Puigdemont asks Spanish politicians for “courage” to “negotiate a referendum”

    The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, regretted in a speech on Friday in Madrid that so far the Spanish political class has behaved as if it was “not concerned” by the pro-independence movement going on in Catalonia. Puigdemont urged the politicians that will need to form a new government in Spain to have “courage” in order to negotiate a referendum. According to him, “Catalans’ patience is not infinite”. “We won’t sit still with folded arms eternally”, he warned, asking Madrid to engage in “dialogue” with the Catalan administration. In another event, on Thursday in front of members of the business community, Puigdemont said that his government will never disobey the law while following the path towards independence. “I know that some people use the word ‘disobedience’. I won’t use it nor will my government”, said the Catalan President.

Image of the project 'Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture beyond architects' at the Venice Architecture 'Biennale'  (by P. Francesch)

Architecture comes to life at the Catalan pavilion in the Venice Biennale
The Catalan pavilion at the Venice Architecture ‘Biennale’ brings architecture to life with the project ‘Aftermath_Catalonia in Venice. Architecture beyond architects’. This project, set to represent Catalonia, is curated by film director Isaki Lacuesta and architects Jaume Prat and Jelena Prokopljevic. The three propose to open a dialogue between architecture and cinema; according to Prokopljevic, the aim is to “teach architecture from the point of view of the user, with buildings that are in use, and to flee from the moment when architects show the buildings when they are just finished and about to be opened, when they are all clean and have no life”.

Image of the 120 members in the Strategic Board for the Mediterranean Corridor Railway (by ACN)

Puigdemont urges Spain to listen to Europe and promote the Mediterranean Corridor

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont celebrated the “consensus” that the construction of the Mediterranean Railway Corridor has amongst the political, social and economic agents in Catalonia and also amongst the regional governments involved in the construction, such as those of Valencia, the Balearic Islands and Murcia. However, he urged Spain’s executive “to listen” to their demands and also to Europe’s warnings and promote thislong-awaited piece of infrastructure which is set to transport freight and passengers non-stop from Gibraltar to Central Europe. Indeed, the European Court of Auditors reported on Tuesday that the EU “had not been effective in enhancing rail freight transport” and that the targets for “the number of freight trains and the tonnage of goods transported” on the section between Spain and France, which has still to be completed, “are far from being achieved”.

'Cavallino Rampante', Europe’s tallest rollercoaster, will be one of Ferrari Land's main attractions (by ACN)

Construction of Ferrari Land reaches midway point to April 2017 opening

Ferrari Land, the international brand’s first theme park in Europe, is closer to its opening in Vila-Seca, a town in the southern Catalan region of Tarragona. Over the next few weeks the operators will carry out the urbanisation of 60,000 square metres of the amusement resort, located next to the Port Aventura theme park. Ferrari Land represented a €100 million investment and will include simulators, shops, restaurants, as well as replicas of Italian buildings. However, one of its main attractions will be ‘Cavallino Rampante’, Europe’s tallest rollercoaster, reaching 112 metres high. The attraction should allow visitors to feel the acceleration experienced by a F1 driver, reaching 180 km/h in 5 seconds.Ferrari Land is set to increase by 20% the number of visitors to Port Aventura, which will break all records achieved since it opened in May 1995.

Image of the documentary 'Bakur' , to be shown at DocsBarcelona 2016 (by ACN)

19th edition of documentary film festival DocsBarcelona kicks off

The DocsBarcelona 2016 film festival opened this year’s edition with the documentary ‘Sonita’ by Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami on Wednesday. The film is about an eighteen-year-old Afghan girl after which the film is named, who emigrates illegally to Iran to pursue her dream of being a hip hop artist, despite her mother’s opposition. The DocsBarcelona film festival is running until the 29th of May, during which one can see 46 films from 28 countries at the multidisciplinary institution and museum Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) and the Aribau Club cinema. While keeping in mind the important theme of refugees, the documentary also raises the important issue of what role a film should play in the subject it is filming. “Documentary films reflect the society we live in, and in ten years they will reflect what is happening in society”, reflected the director of DocsBarcelona, Juan Gonzàlez.

  • The Fundación MAPFRE in Barcelona hosts the ‘Bruce Davidson’ exhibition (by ACN)

    Retrospective on photographer Bruce Davidson opens in Barcelona

    The ‘Bruce Davidson’ exhibition, the very first retrospective dedicated to the American photographer to be held in Spain is to open at the non-profit institution Fundación MAPFRE in Barcelona. The exhibition will run from the 28th of May until the 28th of August, after which it will embark on an international tour. Photographer Bruce Davidson has more than fifty years of uninterrupted work behind him (as well as membership of the prestigious photography co-op, Magnum), which are featured in chronological order in the exhibition. Along with Davidson’s most important photographs and series, the artist’s never-before-featured new works will also be on display. In the exhibition “we can see the stylistic evolution of his work but can also see a small condensed history of American photography from the second half of the twentieth century, which is, undoubtedly, a universal reference for photography”, explained the curator of the exhibition, Carlos Gollonet.
  • The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau (by ACN)

    Riot police must be “proportionate” to avoid “violent escalation” in Barcelona, urges Mayor Colau

    The eviction of squatters from the so-called ‘Expropriated Bank’ in Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood has caused three consecutive nights of riots in the city and has raised concerns in the press about an excessive use of force by the police. The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, urged the police to avoid “a violent escalation”. Colau, a former activist herself, said that she trusts the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan Police, but admitted to being “worried” by reports that suggest that the riot squad’s behaviour was disproportionate. “I don’t know and I don’t want to prejudge anything. I trust the Mossos but I need to ask for caution and urge all police actions to aim at avoiding any escalation of violence”, she said, asking the officers to, first and foremost, “protect the neighbours”. Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating former mayor Xavier Trias, who for a year paid the rent of the ‘Expropriated Bank’ in order to avoid an eviction.
  • A United Airlines plane (by United Airlines)

    United Airlines starts daily non-stop service between Washington and Barcelona

    The American airline has started this Thursday its summer travel season launching the service between Washington-Dulles and Barcelona-El Prat airports. The flight will be offered until the 29th of October and will leave Barcelona every day at 11.15 am and arrive in Washington at 14.30 pm the same day. The return leg will take off from the United States at 18.10 in the evening and land in Barcelona at 08.05 the following morning. The Barcelona-Washington non-stop daily flight is the latest addition to the intercontinental offering from the Catalan airport, which also has connections with New York and Sao Paulo, amongst others.

Highlights

  • One of the key moment of 'Patum' festival in the town of Berga (by ACN)

    25.05.16 - 10:23

    ‘Patum’: the beat of a local festival with international status

    ‘Patum’ is a popular festival celebrated every year during Corpus Christi in the Catalan city of Berga. In this town, the earliest reference to this festival dates from 1454 although the celebration has its origins in pre-Christian festivities. During five days, the streets of Berga are transformed into a massive stage. The ‘Patum’ festival,  which was declared as a UNESCO World...

  • 'Disfrutar' chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol castro i Eduard Xatruch (by ACN)

    24.05.16 - 19:29

    Barcelona’s restaurant Disfrutar awarded Best New European Restaurant 2016

    ‘Disfrutar’ restaurant in Barcelona has been awarded Best New European Restaurant 2016 in the prestigious Opinionated About Dining (OAD) rankings. The restaurant has also made a breakthrough appearance in the Best European Restaurant ranking, coming in at number 38. The three founders of the restaurant, chefs Eduard Xatruch, Oriol Castro and Mateu Casañas, worked together for 15 years as disciples of Ferran Adrià...

  • Visitors passing before Catalonia's booth at Warsaw Book Fair 2016 (by ACN)

    24.05.16 - 19:11

    Thousands participate in Catalan activities at the Warsaw Book Fair

    At this year’s edition of the Warsaw Book Fair, where Barcelona along with Catalan culture and literature were guests of honour, 1,700 people attended activities meant to promote the culture of the region. The activities were organised by the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), which is a public institution in charge of promoting Catalan culture and language. A total of 72,000 visitors attended the Book Fair, which was held from the...

  • Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy, Oriol Junqueras presented the draft budget for 2016 on a memory stick (by ACN)

    24.05.16 - 18:55

    Draft budget for 2016 projects €23.7 billion in total expenditure, 1.5% higher than last year

    The Catalan Government’s total projected spending for 2016 amounts to €23.7 billion, 1.5% higher than last year’s bill and sets a deficit equivalent to 0.7% of Catalonia’s GDP, the same as that for 2015. Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy Oriol Junqueras handed the proposal this Tuesday to the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell.According to Junqueras, the 2016 budget is “the most...

  • Image of an overturned car due to the riots occurred this Monday night in Gracia (by ACN)

    24.05.16 - 15:11

    Riots in Barcelona over ‘Expropriated Bank’ eviction

    Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood saw violent protests this past Monday, after a demonstration against the eviction of the so-called ‘Expropriated Bank’. According to the police, after a peaceful rally, several people started making barricades, damaging urban furniture and several vehicles parked in the street and burning containers. As firefighters couldn’t control the different fires...

  • Two members of the Catalan NGO 'Amb les teves mans' ('With your hands') during a trip to Pireaus, Greece (by ACN)

    24.05.16 - 14:41

    Catalonia hosts half of the 20 refugees newly arrived in Spain

    Three Syrian families, including 4 minors, make up the 10 refugees which will be relocated to Catalonia. They are part of a group of 20 people which arrived this Tuesday in Madrid. 44 more people, expected to arrive on the 30th of May, will follow this first group and 19 more will arrive on the 1st

  • Neymar Jr with his son on Monday night at the Camp Nou (by FCB)

    24.05.16 - 00:33

    Camp Nou celebrates the double

    The Camp Nou was treated to a night of emotions and spectacle – capped when the football squad appeared one by one, in order of shirt numbers, to rapturous cheers from the adoring crowds. Luis Enrique and his staff were also honoured in a fitting tribute to all the hard work they do, and which so often goes unnoticed behind the scenes. Celebrations like this are becoming common place of late at the Camp...

  • Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy, Oriol Junqueras and Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont (by ACN)

    23.05.16 - 19:57

    Catalan Government’s budget for 2016 to include €700 million more for social spending

    The Catalan Government’s budget for 2016 has been drafted and €700 million more is to be allocated to social spending compared to the budget of 2015, according to the Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy Oriol Junqueras. He also stated that the Health sector will see an increase of €317 million, while the Education budget will increase by €211 million and that of Social Services will grow by €173...

  • Representatives from ESADE business school during a course presentation in Sant Cugat, in October 2015 (by ACN)

    23.05.16 - 19:30

    Three Catalan business schools amongst top 50 in the world

    Three Catalan business schools were ranked in the fifty best in the world category, according to the the 18th edition of the elaborate analysis by the Financial Times (FT) Executive Education 2016. The three schools that received the highest scores were the Iese Business School (in first place), the Esade Business School (in eighth place) and the Eada Business School Barcelona (in 44th place). The final analysis was a...

  • The team celebrating on the field at the Calderón (by FCB)

    23.05.16 - 10:22

    A double to end a dream season

    The victory in the Vicente Calderón strengthens FC Barcelona's position as the most successful team of recent years as they claim the Copa del Rey for the second successive season. Jordi Alba’s goal in the seventh minute of extra time capped a stunning turnaround of events and handed FC Barcelona a well-deserved 2–0 victory over Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey final on Sunday night at the Vicente Calderón Stadium...

  • One of the exhibitions at the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC)

    20.05.16 - 22:36

    83 venues to welcome visitors for free during ‘Night of Museums’

    83 cultural and art institutions in Barcelona and the surrounding areas will open their doors for free this weekend during the so called ‘Night of Museums’ . The event is held across 40 countries in Europe, and offers cultural events such as exhibitions, circus acts, screenings, poetry readings, and much more. Participating museums will be open from evening until past midnight, and will showcase 60...

  • Barça supporters showing 'estelades', Catalonia's pro-independence flag (by ACN)

    20.05.16 - 18:23

    Pro-independence flags will now be allowed at Copa del Rey final

    Those supporters who carry pro-independence flags at the Copa del Rey final will be able to access the stadium. The judge of judiciary number 11 of Madrid accepted the appeal presented by lawyers' group 'Drets', which called for the “automatic suspension” of the Spanish government’s decision to ban the flags during the football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC. Thus, according to the resolution,...

  • Miró's painting 'Le Fantôme de l'atelier' was auctioned at Christies within the charity project 'Joan Miró & Refugees' (by Christie's Images Ltd)

    20.05.16 - 17:04

    Christie’s raises €50,000 at ‘Joan Miró & Refugees’ charity auction

    50,000 euros were raised for the Red Cross’ work with refugees in the charity auction ‘Joan Miró & Refugees’, hosted by Christie’s Auction House in London this Thursday. The collection was comprised of 24 pieces and the proceeds will all go towards aiding the Red Cross in their “attention and acceptance of the refugee population that is amassing in Eastern Europe”, stated Red Cross Vice...

  • People supporting former Catalan Ministry for Presidency, Francesc Homs, when he voluntarily testified to Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) in March (by ACN)

    19.05.16 - 18:38

    Former Catalan Minister Francesc Homs investigated for organising the 9-N symbolic consultation

    Former Catalan Minister for the Presidency, Frances Homs, is being investigated by Spain’s Supreme Court for helping to organise the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Homs, who is currently the leader of Catalan coalition ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ in the Spanish Parliament, is accused of disobedience, perversion of justice and misappropriation of public funds, the same charges for which former Catalan...

  • Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, received this Wednesday the visit of Basque politician and Secretary General of ‘abertzale’ separatist party Sortu, Arnaldo Otegi (by ACN)

    18.05.16 - 19:09

    Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi praises Catalonia’s pro-independence process and assures there is “no turning back”

    Secretary General of ‘abertzale’ Basque separatist party Sortu and former member of Basque terrorist group ETA, Arnaldo Otegi met this Wednesday with Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell. The meeting provoked huge media expectation and also triggered fierce criticism amongst several groups in the Parliament. The People’s Party of Catalonia (PPC) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans accused Forcadell of...

  • Girl taking a picture at 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year '15 at Barcelona's CosmoCaixa (by ACN)

    18.05.16 - 18:51

    The best nature photos of 2015 on display at CosmoCaixa

    Barcelona’s CosmoCaixa science museum has inaugurated an exhibition replicating that of the Natural History Museum in London called ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’. The 100 photos on display were selected out of 42,000 images received in the eponymous contest put forth by BBC Wildlife Magazine in 2015. The pictures chosen for the exhibition were also selected because they stimulated “defence of biodiversity and...