27-s elections

Party Review - ‘Unió’: “Catalanism doesn’t mean supporting independence”

September 25, 2015 02:51 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Christian-Democrat Unió, the smaller party within the former governing coalition CiU, claims to be the alternative to the extreme positions that “have taken over Catalan politics”. “We regret that this campaign has been based on two extreme positions: the status quo and a breakaway” stated Unió’s Secretary General and now candidate for President in the upcoming 27-S elections, Ramon Espadaler. “We believe there’s a central position and that is reforming Spain’s Constitution” he said at a press conference at CNA headquarters. Unió’s differences with liberal party CDC regarding Catalonia’s push for independence caused the definitive separation of CiU after a 37-year alliance. “Now the party has its own voice” he emphasised. 

Party Review - ‘Junts Pel Sí’: “Independence is for real. We are ready”

September 24, 2015 06:01 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (‘Together for Yes’) is a unitary list which gathers together, for the first time in history, members of Catalan civil society, such as the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, and politicians from different ideological backgrounds that support independence. “What we are doing here is very strange but we are going through a very strange moment, extraordinary”, stated former Member of the European Parliament Raül Romeva, who tops the unitary list. “We have tried everything” to hold a self-determination vote, but using the parliamentary elections “is the last resort”, stated Catalan President Artur Mas, who comes fourth on the list.Their plan is to declare independence within 18 months of the 27-S elections “if the majority is there”, which many polls forecast it will be. “This is for real, we are ready to do it” stated Romeva and added that they are “aware of the risks but also very aware of the enormous opportunities”. 

Minister Margallo insists Catalans will lose Spanish nationality in the case of independence

September 23, 2015 05:42 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Manuel García-Margallo stated this Wednesday that Catalans would not be able to maintain their Spanish nationality or European citizenship in the case of independence. “Catalan people cannot expect to maintain certain attributes and not others” he insisted. Margallo called the Catalans’ idea some sort of “joke” and cited Latin American countries’ independence from Spain and Algeria’s independence as examples. He made such statement after Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, failed to defend the idea that Catalans will lose Spanish nationality (because the Spanish Constitution allows them to keep it as they are Spanish by origin). Referring to this, Catalan President Artur Mas stated that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”.

Party review: Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans will do “everything in their hands” to avoid independence

September 22, 2015 04:53 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans (C’s) is the youngest party with representation in the Catalan parliament. Founded in 2006, their support has increased dramatically in every election and most of the polls forecast that they will be the second force in the upcoming 27-S elections. Their position regarding Catalonia’s independence is open opposition and they call for reform of the Spanish Constitution. “I’ll do everything in my hands to avoid Catalonia’s independence” assured C’s candidate Inés Arrimadas at a press conference held this Tuesday at CNA headquarters. “We don’t want to think of the reactions to a hypothetical victory of pro-independence forces. We want to beat them, we want to win the Catalan elections” she stated. According to Arrimadas, Ciutadans is the only party which understands the real problems of the citizens “and independence is not a priority for them”. “We focus on the services, not on the institutions” she added.  

Party Review: Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) is against Catalonia’s independence and declares that “a nation is not a state”

September 21, 2015 02:53 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the Catalan branch of Spanish Socialist Party PSOE is against Catalonia’s independence. “I hope and I wish that pro-independence forces won’t get an absolute majority in the upcoming elections” stated Miquel Iceta, a consolidated member of PSC whom has been chosen to run for President in the upcoming 27-S elections. Iceta has come in for the previous candidate, Pere Navarro, whom got the worst result for PSC in any Catalan elections; only 20 seats from the 135 which compose the Catalan Parliament. PSC’s support in Catalonia has decreased dramatically since 2006 and the party has faced many crises and changes in its leadership, both in Catalonia and in Spain. Many parties have attributed this decline to the lack of independence of the PSC and have claimed that their policies are directed by their mother party PSOE.

Spain’s Electoral Roll Office won’t extend period to vote from abroad

September 18, 2015 04:30 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Catalan government admitted to being “very surprised” with the Electoral Roll Office’s decision, which it described as “contradictory”. The Spanish body agreed this Thursday to extend the postal vote but only for those who live in Spain, and not for those Catalans who live abroad. The Catalan Minister for Public Administration, Meritxell Borràs, claimed that the Electoral Roll Office is committed to “not facilitating” the vote of those who live abroad. According to the data, more people applied for a postal vote this year than in the last Catalan elections, in 2012. Compared to last time around, 4,000 more Catalans living abroad requested the postal vote on the 16th of September, the day before the deadline. 

European Commission doesn’t want “to influence” the Catalan elections as they are “a choice of voters”

September 18, 2015 02:34 PM | ACN

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis assured this Friday that Brussels’ intention “is not to influence votes in member states and regions”, referring to the upcoming 27-S Catalan elections, and outlined that they are “a choice of voters”. Dombrovskis comments came after European Commission spokesman Margarities Schinas warned on Thursday that in the event of becoming an independent state, Catalonia “will become a third country and may apply to become a member of the EU”. Dombrovskis, former Prime Minister of Latvia and European Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue recalled that the European Commission “does not normally comment on party politics in member states or their regions”. “We are ready to work with democratically elected or appointed authorities of member states”, he emphasised

Party review: ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ (‘Catalonia Yes we can’), a new alternative left-wing coalition

September 17, 2015 06:35 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV and alternative left-wing Podem (the Catalan branch of the Spanish party Podemos),running under the name 'Catalunya Sí que es Pot' (in English, 'Catalonia yes we can'), is a new party designed to run in the 27-S Catalan elections. Its leader, Lluís Rabell, comes from the social and neighbourhood community scene and claims to be the voice of “the social majority that is being silenced by the independence debate” in Catalonia. Regarding Catalonia’s push for independence, ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ is for “the celebration of an agreed consultation which can be recognised internationally” and, in order to have this, they find it indispensable to “overthrow the Conservative People’s Party (PP) in Spain”.

‘Cercle d’Economia’ call for a “legal and agreed” consultation if pro-independence forces win 27-S elections

September 16, 2015 06:48 PM | ACN / Shobha Prabhu-Naik

The ‘Cercle d'Economia’, a Catalan economic forum open to businesspeople and academics, are in favour of a “legal and agreed” consultation if pro-independence groups have “clear” support in the 27-S elections. The forum, which is against a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (‘DUI’ in Catalan), stated that allowing the consultation is a “democratic principle” inherent in the Spanish Constitution. The Cercle d'Economia presented its views in an opinion piece which had to be redrafted since the first draft presented on Monday by the president of the organisation, Anton Costas, created differences between board members.

Party Review – PPC, the Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party

September 16, 2015 05:15 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

In the last Catalan elections, in 2012, the PPC got their best results ever, increasing from 18 to 19 seats in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament. The PP was already ruling the Spanish government by that time and its politics regarding Catalonia’s sovereignty were harsh and recentralising. For the upcoming 27-S elections the PPC has changed its candidate: Xavier García Albiol, former mayor of Badalona, the third city in Catalonia, substitutes Alicia Sánchez Camacho. Albiol represents the more extreme faction of the PPC and he has been accused of being xenophobic by his political opponents. He is openly against the independence of Catalonia: he thinks the process is “a romantic adventure led by Artur Mas” and he aims to stand up for those “millions of Catalans who don’t want to stop being Spanish”.


Belgian Parliament discusses Catalonia’s push for independence

September 15, 2015 05:26 PM | ACN

The Catalan Foreign Affairs Secretary, Roger Albinyana,andthe Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo, appeared this Tuesday before 14 of the 17 members that compose the Belgian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. Requested by the Commission’s president, the Flemish socialist Dirk Van Der Maelen, they explained the upcoming Catalan elections, to be held on the 27th of September, and answered the commissioners’ questions. “It is a very democratic process and, as everybody has noticed, with a majority of people supporting it”, stated Committee on Foreign Affairs’ member Peter Luykx. The Spanish ambassador to Belgium has already complained about the appearance, which arrives after six other parliaments across the world have shown their interest in Catalonia’s case.  

‘Junts Pel Sí’ roadmap guarantees “no leaps into the void”

September 4, 2015 07:38 PM | ACN

The pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ gave details about its roadmap towards independence, which was first presented last week after a massive rally in Barcelona. The cross-party coalition brings together members of Catalan civil society and politicians from both right and left that favour independence, including Catalan President Artur Mas, who is fourth on the coalition’s candidate list. The Commissioner for National Transition, solicitor Carles Viver Pi-Sunyer, assured this Friday during the presentation that there won’t be any “leap into the void” as everything is planned “rigorously”. He also detailed the steps to follow after the 27th of September elections and, if the results show clear support for Catalan independence, the last stage would be the composition of a Catalan Constitution.

President Mas: 27-S elections are “the last resort”

September 2, 2015 07:13 PM | ACN

The Catalan President, Artur Mas, has stated that the 27-S Catalan elections are not an “improvised event” but “the last resort” for Catalans to decide their political future. He justified the elections by saying that up until now all attempts have “crashed into the granite wall that is Spain”. At his appearance before Parliament this Wednesday, Mas admitted that calling elections hadn’t been his first choice but that it was “the only option left”. He added that the upcoming elections “are exceptional” and mentioned the pro-independence unitary list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ as an example of this. The gathering together of “so many people with different ideologies but a common purpose has no precedents” and should at least “be respected”, he said. Mas also gave explanations for the search that the Spanish Guardia Civil carried out on the headquarters of his party CDC and those of the party’s foundation CatDem.