Barça and UEFA agree to allow pro-independence flags at Camp Nou

December 20, 2016 01:44 PM | ACN

The dispute between Barça and UEFA over the display of Catalan independence flags, ‘estelades’, at the Camp Nou is definitely on track to reach a solution. The international body announced an agreement with FC Barcelona to end this litigation. The pact means that Barça will drop its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) over the economic sanctions imposed on the club, while UEFA compromises to establish a working group “involving both clubs and national associations to review the disciplinary framework” that nowadays prevents the display of political symbols in stadiums. The conflict began in the Champions League final in Berlin last year when a Ukrainian UEFA delegate, Anna Bordiugova, who was not in the Olympic Stadium, denounced the exhibition of 'estelades' after watching the game on television.

Catalonia and Cuba sign agreement to boost trade relations

November 25, 2016 02:38 PM | ACN

Catalan exports to Cuba grew by 50% in 2015, reaching €294 million. With this in mind, the Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, and the director of the centre for the promotion of foreign trade ProCuba, Roberto Verrier, signed on Thursday in Havana an agreement that seeks to strengthen trade relations. ProCuba, under the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, works to promote the internationalisation of the industry of the country. According to the agreement, Cuba will now provide Catalonia with information on the investment opportunities in the region in order to promote the arrival of new Catalan businesses to the island. Baiget, who is participating in a trade mission to Panama and Cuba organised by the Port of Barcelona and Acció, the Catalan Public competitiveness and internationalisation agency, stated that the measure was “really important”. It implies “direct capacity for dialogue” with the Cuban body responsible for foreign investment, he added.

Catalonia wants to be European benchmark in fight against climate change

November 9, 2016 07:29 PM | ACN

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) on climate change is being held in Marrakech, Morocco, since the 7th of November and will last until the 18th. Although only UN member states can vote at the meeting, regional and local entities can participate. A Catalan delegation has travelled to the conference in the Moroccan city, and the Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, will do so next weekend. The aim of the mission is to demonstrate Catalonia’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. “Catalonia wants to lead the fight against climate change, we are doing things reasonably well and we want to be the benchmark in Europe”, Rull stated. Catalonia ratified the Paris agreement last April and the Catalan Parliament currently has as pending the approval of a law to combat global warming. 

27-S elections look back: A year of pro-independence majority in the Parliament

September 27, 2016 07:20 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

This Thursday is the first anniversary of the Catalan Elections of the 27th of September 2015, which led to the first pro-independence majority in the Parliament. Cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, which gathered together representatives from civil society and politicians such as left wing ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, former MEP Raül Romeva and former President Mas, amongst others, won the elections, obtaining 62 MPs in the 135-seat Catalan Chamber. However, they didn’t obtain an absolute majority and negotiated with radical left pro-independence CUP, who got 10 MPs, in order to have a majority in favour of independence in the Catalan Chamber. After Mas failed twice to be invested as President, since CUP repeatedly refused to support him, former Mayor of Girona and President of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), Carles Puigdemont, emerged as the candidate of consensus. Then, a term of office defined as ‘exceptional’ started, with the aim of launching a pro-independence roadmap and putting in place the basis for the future Catalan Republic.

PDC urges CUP to show "a sense of loyalty" and renew confidence in Puigdemont

September 27, 2016 10:49 AM | ACN

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, will face a vote of confidence this Wednesday to decide whether the Parliament renews the confidence in the current Government or new elections are called. Although radical left pro-independence CUP has already announced that they will support Puigdemont, former liberal party ‘Convergència’ now the Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) warned that the call for a unilateral referendum cannot be a red line to renew the confidence in the President. Moreover, the party asked the CUP to show "a sense of state, loyalty and unity" to complete the process towards independence. On the contrary, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) warned the PDC that if the vote is orientated towards the pro-independence roadmap, they will not renew their confidence in Puigdemont.

Disagreement amongst main pro-independence parties on what Puigdemont vote of confidence will imply

July 12, 2016 07:16 PM | ACN

The pro-independence parties in the Catalan Chamber, governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP, have expressed their differences regarding the vote of confidence on Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, which will be held in September. While ‘Junts Pel Sí’ consider voting in favour of Puigdemont’s presidency to imply backing the budget for 2017, CUP see things differently and stated that renewing the confidence in Puigdemont is part of the agreed pro-independence roadmap but not necessarily linked to the bill. The Catalan Government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, considers the budget an “indispensable tool” for the pro-independence roadmap to move forward.

Government doesn’t dismiss unilateral referendum on independence if “internationally homologated"

June 14, 2016 07:01 PM | ACN

The possibility of holding a unilateral referendum on independence has not been rejected by the Catalan Government. According to Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, this option will be considered as long as it has “total democratic legitimacy” and “international homologation”. However, Munté emphasised that the roadmap towards independence, which foresaw an 18-month term of office and constitutive elections afterwards, is still “in force”. “We don’t give up on the pro-independence roadmap but we are open, of course, to listening to all those options which would go in the same direction”, she stated. The possible celebration of a unilateral referendum on independence was first raised by radical left pro-independence CUP in the last weeks and it has been brought into the spotlight of the Spanish electoral campaign by several Catalan parties.

Puigdemont will submit to vote of confidence after this summer

June 8, 2016 06:41 PM | ACN

CUP’s veto on the budget for 2016 has provoked not only the extension of the bill for 2015 but also other major political consequences. One of them is the vote of confidence that Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, announced he will submit himself to. “I trusted you and I defended you until the end”stated Puigdemont, addressing radical left pro-independence CUP and added that the lefties “let down the hopes of millions of people”. Puigdemont considers the conditions which led to the agreement between the pro-independence forces after the 27-S elections to “have now changed”and therefore it will be up to the Parliament to decide whether to restore confidence in the current Government or call for new elections. “We can’t continue like this, we go nowhere with such a volatile basis”, he admitted.

Puigdemont assumes the stability agreement between pro-independence forces broken

June 8, 2016 04:49 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont considers pro-independence radical left CUP’s veto on the bill for 2016 to “mark a turning point” and assumes that the stability agreement reached between pro-independence forces CUP and cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ is now broken. However, Puigdemont nuanced that this doesn’t mean that the current term of office is over but assured that from now on ‘Junts Pel Sí’ will rule in minority, with the 62 MPs they have in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament. During a meeting with the Catalan executive held this morning, right before the debate over the budget, Puigdemont stated that the bill for 2016 won’t be passed “at any price” and that the Government’s project is not “for sale” as the main goal continues to be achieving independence