• PSC's leader, Miquel Iceta, during PSOE's federal committee (by ACN)

    Catalan Socialists “to disobey” PSOE and say ‘no’ to Rajoy investiture

    “We will disobey and we are willing to face the consequences”, stated this Monday Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) leader, Miquel Iceta. He was referring to the PSC’s will to say ‘no’to the reinvestiture of current Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, in opposition to the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) position, who agreed in its federal committee this Sunday to abstain and facilitate the Conservative People’s Party (PP) to form government. “We will vote the same way as the other Socialists in the first round, but in the second one we will vote ‘no’, regardless of how the othersvote”, he assured in an interview with Catalan radio Rac1. Iceta also referred to the current relationship between PSOE and the Catalan Socialists. Although he believes that keeping the current scenario is “the best”solution, he admitted that PSOE “has the right”to reconsider the relationship with PSC.  

The Economist article about the bullfighting ban in Catalonia

Spanish court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia

The ban on bullfighting in Catalonia, approved by the Parliament in 2010 and effective since 2012, has been suspended this Thursday by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Eight of the eleven magistrates in the court considered that the prohibition to host bullfighting in Catalonia “restricted the citizens’erights and freedoms”. Moreover, the TC emphasised that it is for the Spanish state to regulate this “intangible cultural heritage”nand “guarantee its preservation”. Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, insisted on the executive’s commitment to preventing “shows which imply animal suffering”hfrom taking place in Catalonia and assured that bullfighting won’t return to Catalonia. Bullfighting has been, for centuries, presented by Spanish nationalism as ‘the national fiesta’, the utmost celebration of Spanish pride. In other Autonomous Communities, such as the Canary Islands, bullfighting has been banned for decades.


Containers in Port de Barcelona (by ACN)

Catalan exports rose a record 13.8% in August

In August, Catalan exports increased by 13.8% over the same period in 2015, reaching €4.5188 billion and setting a new record as the 'best August’ ever registered (since the collection of data began). According to figures published this Thursday by the Spanish Ministry for the Economy and Competitiveness, Catalonia’s exports of goods abroad accounted for 25.6% of the total sales in Spain. The increase of Catalan exports was higher than the EU average (+12%) and well above that of countries such as France (+2.3%) and the UK (+1.2%). However, this increase was lower than that of countries such as Germany (+14.2%) and Italy (+29.4%). Spanish exports also rose (by 8.9%), totalling €17.646 billion.

General image of the main aisle of Barcelona Meeting Point this Wednesday 19th of October 2016 (by ACN).

Only international real estate trade fair in Spain Barcelona Meeting Point kicks off

The 20th edition of Barcelona Meeting Point (BMP), the international and professional real estate trade fair in Spain, opened this Wednesday. The inauguration was marked by contention. The Catalan representatives decided not to attend it. The Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, and the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, informed the President of the BMP of their decision through a letter. The reason for their absence is that by Tuesday, less than 24 hours before the start of the fair, the organisers had still not informed the Catalan representatives about the time of the event, as they were waiting to know the agenda of the Spanish representative. The Catalan Ministers assessed this lack of information as “disregard and informality towards members of the Government of Catalonia and all the attendees”.

Leo Messi was unstoppable on Wednesday night at Camp Nou (by FCB)

Match Report: FC Barcelona v Manchester City: Maestro Messi shows the way (4–0)

A sweet victory for Luis Enrique on Wednesday night, soundly defeating his friend and former teammate, Pep Guardiola, 4–0, in the third Group C game for FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Lionel Messi, of course, was the star of the show, scoring thrice to leave not just his former manager on the losing end but his leaving his current manager almost lost for words. “He was decisive,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “He was involved in all the game’s key moments.” Guardiola was handily defeated at Camp Nou for the second time in two matches since leaving his lifelong club five seasons ago.  Besides Messi’s seventh career Champions League hat-trick, Neymar Jr added a late goal.

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  • Latvian conservative MEP Roberts Zile in the chamber of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (by ACN).

    Latvian MEPs criticise Spanish Government expulsion of Counsellor

    Latvian MEPs from different parties have criticised the Spanish Government’s withdrawal of accreditation from the Honorary Counsellor of Latvia, Xavier Vinyals. “It's not serious (accusing Vinyals of having displayed a pro-independence flag)", "it is a very funny reason to expel a counsellor", remarked the Social Democrat Andrejs Mamikins to the Catalan News Agency. The Conservative Roberts Zile also criticised the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José-Manuel García Margallo, for his "wrong attitude, clearly inadequate for the democratic standards of the 21st century". "It's a horrible decision", lamented the Green Tatjana Ždanoka. The Latvian Government and Latvian MEPs from the European People’s Party (PPE) refused to comment on the decision of Margallo.


  • The director of ‘Apropa Cultura’, Sònia Gainza, surrounded by responsible authorities of the administrations and the amenities, and some users of the programme (by ACN)

    Second edition of ‘Apropa Cultura’ Week kicks off

    Theatres, museums and other cultural amenities from all over Catalonia will celebrate the second edition of 'Apropa Cultura' Week from this Monday the 24th to the 30th of October. The 63 cultural amenities that are taking part in this initiative will programme a wide range of activities to make people aware of the importance of democratic access to culture. 1,573 social organisations will hold meetings between social groups and artists during more than 200 cultural events throughout the week. 'Apropa Cultura' is a pioneer initiative in Europe aiming at opening culture to citizens at social risk, such as people with intellectual and physical disabilities and people with drug addiction problems, amongst others.

  • Image of the statue of Franco lying on the esplanade of 'El Born' Cultural Centre this Friday 20th of October 2016 (by ACN)

    Barcelona dismantles Franco exhibition after sculpture of dictator pulled down

    Barcelona’s City Hall had to dismantle the exhibition ‘Franco-Victory-Republic: impunity and urban space’after the equestrian sculpture of dictator Francisco Franco was pulled down last night. The monument, the head of which was pulled off in an act of vandalism a couple of years ago, had suffered several attacks since it was put in place before the ‘El Born’cultural centre on Monday. It was vandalised with graffiti, many offended citizens threw eggs and fruits at it and even objects such as the head of a pig were spontaneously added to the monument. According to Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, the exhibition “was a good decision” rather than a mistake because “it has generated public debate and reflection on the Francoism impunity”. The exhibition also included another Francoist sculpture, ‘Victoria’, which was withdrawn this Friday by Barcelona’s City Hall, because it didn’t make “any sense without the sculpture of the dictator”, Pisarello explained.


  • Family picture of the victims of Francoism with the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont; the President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, and the Catalan Ministers Mundó and Romeva (by ANC).

    19.10.16 - 18:44

    Parliament calls to annul summary courts-martials during Franco regime

    The Catalan Parliament passed this Wednesday a bill aimed at annulling all the express judicial sentences of the Franco regime, known as summary court-martials. 78,000 people were condemned between 1939 and 1975, 20,000 of them through these judicial procedures, among which was the Catalan President Lluís Companys, who was executed in 1940, and the anarchist activist Salvador Puig Antich, who was one of the last victims of the...

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

    18.10.16 - 18:17

    Spanish Parliament calls for immediate resignation of Minister Fernández Díaz

    Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, has been reproved by the Spanish Parliament. All the parties in the Spanish Chamber, except from the currently governing People’s Party (PP) voted in favour of the bill presented by the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat) which called for Fernández Díaz’s immediate resignation. The current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs was...

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, before the press in Paris (by ACN)

    18.10.16 - 16:23

    Puigdemont laments in Paris that “being democratic in Spain is a risky sport”

    “It is unbelievable that being democratic in Spain is nowadays a risky sport”, stated Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont this Tuesday during an official trip to Paris. After meeting the leader of the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), Jean Christophe Lagarde, Puigdemont lamented “Spain’s democratic weakness” but admitted that it “is not surprising”. In the same vein, Puigdemont gave an...

  • Woman annalysing samplers at a lab (by ACN)

    18.10.16 - 16:12

    Catalan biotech Mind the Byte enters Japanese market; €1.2 million annual turnover expected by 2020

    Mind the Byte, a Catalan company dedicated to computational drug design, will enter the bioinformatics market in Japan, thanks to a distribution agreement with the Japanese company Filgen. This agreement came after several meetings between the companies during a mission of the public business competitiveness and internationalisation agency ACCIÓ in Japan last year. The founder and CEO of Mind the Byte, Alfons...

  •  From left to right, the President of Barcelona Provincial Government, Mercè Conesa, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau; the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull; and the Catalan Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jordi Solé, at Habitat

    17.10.16 - 19:35

    Catalonia seeks to be the first territory to implement the New Urban Agenda

    Catalonia wants to be the first region to implement the New Urban Agenda, a document to be adopted this week at Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador. The aim of this meeting of local and regional leaders is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments to date and provide guidance to states, city and regional authorities,...

  • Cauldron used in Barcelona's Paralympic Games, in 1992 (by ACN)

    17.10.16 - 19:26

    30 years since Barcelona’s Olympic nomination

    On a day like today, 30 years ago, Barcelona achieved its long-time dream to become the venue for the Olympic Games. It was 1.30 pm on Friday the 17th of October 1986 when the President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, announced that Barcelona had just won the nomination to host the major sports event in 1992. The proclamation was followed by an outburst of joy in Catalonia and also in the Palais de...

  • Spain's Public Prosecutor, Consuelo Madrigal and President of Spain’s Judicial Power Council (CGPJ) Carlos Lesmes (by ACN)

    17.10.16 - 18:48

    Spanish Prosecutor urges to file complaint against Forcadell for disobedience

    Spain’s Public Prosecutor, Consuelo Madrigal, urged Catalonia’s Supreme Prosecutor, José María Romero de Tejada, to file a complaint against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell. Madrigal accused Forcadell of alleged perversion of justice and disobedience for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote in July. However, she dismissed the misappropriation of public funds, which dispels the...

  • Project of the exhibition 'Franco-Victory-Republic: impunity and urban space’ to be displayed at Barcelona's Born Centre Cultural (by ACN)

    17.10.16 - 14:30

    Francoist sculptures displayed in Barcelona as part of controversial exhibition

    The pieces are an equestrian sculpture of Franco, the head of which was pulled off in an act of vandalism a couple of years ago, and ‘Victoria’, by sculptor Frederic Marés. After many years of being kept in a Barcelona City Hall warehouse the Francoist sculptures were erected this Monday on the esplanade before the ‘El Born’ Cultural Centre, in Barcelona’s historic centre, amid criticism from citizens...

  • Pro-independence flags in Tarragona, during the rally held on Catalonia's National Day

    14.10.16 - 18:55

    Spain takes Catalan referendum bill to Constitutional Court

    The Spanish Council of Ministers approved this Friday to submit a complaint against the bill proposing a Catalan referendum on independence in 2017 to the Constitutional Court (TC). The Spanish executive requests the TC to declare null the proposal passed by the Catalan Parliament on the 6th of October last during the General Policy Debate and to temporarily suspend it. Furthermore, in its report the executive also urges the...

  • Ship at Tarragona's Port (by ACN)

    11.10.16 - 19:09

    Catalonia accounts for one third of foreign investment in Spain

    Catalonia is the region of Spain that attracts most foreign investment. According to the report fDi Markets by the Financial Times, Catalonia attracted €14.532 billion in foreign investment between January 2011 and June 2016, coming from 601 projects that resulted in the creation of 38,385 direct jobs. The Catalan economy leads the ranking in Spain overall in terms of attracting foreign direct investment and...

  • Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget (by ACN)

    10.10.16 - 19:06

    Catalonia invested €55 million to promote 5,000 business projects last year

    ‘Catalunya Emprèn’ is an action plan from the Catalan Government which brings together all the initiatives of the different government departments to guide entrepreneurs in regards to the financial assistance they can request. The Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, stated on Monday that Catalonia invested last year €55 million in grants to entrepreneurs, resulting...

  • Gerard Piqué celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal on Wednesday night in Mönchengladbach (by FCB)

    10.10.16 - 18:53

    Barça player Piqué to quit Spain squad

    Gerard Piqué, one of FC Barcelona’s most iconic players, will quit Spain’s national team in 2018. The defender stunned reporters after the Spain vs Albania match on Sunday by declaring that he was“tired”of some supporters criticism who “don’t want”him in the squad. The relationship between...

  • Emblem of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), Spain's highest judicial institution (by ACN)

    10.10.16 - 14:33

    Council of Europe warns Spain over violation of its recommendations on judicial independence

    Spain is failing in transparency and judicial independence. According to the Group of States against Corruption of the Council of Europe (Greco), the Spanish Government has not satisfactorily applied any of the eleven recommendations made by the Council of Europe (CoE) in 2013, which aimed at promoting the fight against corruption and guaranteeing judicial independence. In a report published this Monday, Greco...

  • European Peoples’ Party (EPP) MEP, Sirpa Pietikainen, interviewed by the CNA (by ACN)

    07.10.16 - 19:54

    MEPs from the main parties in the European Parliament defend Catalonia’s right to ban bullfighting

    The ruling by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) to possibly reverse the bullfighting ban in Catalonia has surprised many of the representatives in the European Parliament. Interviewed by the CNA, MEPs from the main political parties in the EuroChamber expressed their views on bullfighting and commented on Catalonia’s wish to keep the prohibition. Bullfighting is “unnecessary cruelty” rather than “culture”,...

  • A woman takes a photograph of one of the exhibitions in London's 'Crossroads' art fair (by 'Crossroads' Art Show)

    07.10.16 - 19:03

    Ten Catalan galleries participate at London’s Crossroads international contemporary art fair

    ‘Brick lane’, in East London, is the venue of the first edition of the international contemporary art fair ‘Crossroads’, taking place until the 9th of October. The event features some fifty galleries from 15 different countries: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the UAE, the USA and the UK. The Catalan participation, though, is one of...