agreement

'En Comú Podem' wins in Catalonia and deadlock continues in Spain

June 26, 2016 11:19 PM | ACN

Alternative left coalition ‘En Comú Podem’ has won the 2016 Spanish Elections in Catalonia. The party, which has Barcelona mayor Ada Colau as its strongest asset, obtained 12 MPs, the same number of MPs as in the last Spanish Elections, held in December 2015. Pro-independence left-wing ERC also repeated the same results as 2015, with 9 seats and CDC, which ran under the name ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ in the last Spanish Elections, also got the same result and obtained 8 MPs. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) added one seat to their 7 existing seats in the Spanish Parliament, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) got 6 MPs, one more than in the last Elections, and Spanish Unionist Ciutadans was the only party to lose a seat and has now 4 MPs. In the whole of Spain PP again won the elections and improved their results, with 137 MPs, 14 more than in December 2015. Thus, the political panorama in Catalonia and Spain remains the same as after the last Spanish Elections.

 

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

CUP’s veto on budget will have “extremely severe consequences”

June 8, 2016 12:15 PM | ACN

The stability of the parliamentary term in office and the relationship between the Catalan Government and the radical left-wing party CUP are at risk after the latter decided on Tuesday to maintain its total opposition to the 2016 draft budget bill. The Catalan Vice President and Catalan Minister for Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras, said that the decision will have “extremely severe consequences” and that “social services” will be particularly affected. The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, warned that the stability of the current term was “hit” and regretted that CUP didn’t respect the agreement with the pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’, the main party in the Parliament, through which they committed to “guarantee parliamentarian stability”. Munté also warned that CUP’s veto “will have consequences” but emphasised the government’s aim to “continue working to put Catalonia at the gates of independence”. CUP’s rejection of the bill, which they considered insufficient and still too “autonomic”, forces the Catalan Government to extend the 2015 budget.

CUP urge Catalan Government to present a new budget proposal for 2016

May 31, 2016 07:28 PM | ACN

There won’t be any agreement on the draft budget for 2016 unless the Catalan Government presents a new proposal including radical left CUP’s “proposals, demands and points of view”. This is what CUP MP, Eulàlia Reguant stated this Tuesday after registering theamendment to the entire budget proposal that the Catalan Vice President and Minister of Economy, Oriol Junqueras, presented last week. One of the anti-capitalists’ demands is to disobey the Spanish Government deficit targets and promote “more ambitious” tax reforms. On the other hand, the Catalan Secretary for Economy, Pere Aragonès warned that it’s “necessary” to pass the budget in order to put Catalonia “at the gates of independence”.

 

Sánchez suggests a “political agreement with Catalonia” as part of reform of the Spanish Constitution

May 30, 2016 06:56 PM | ACN

PSOE’s leader, Pedro Sánchez, proposed a “political agreement with Catalonia” which would be bilateral and in the context of the reform of the Spanish Constitution foreseen by the Spanish Socialists. According to PSOE’s candidate for Spanish President, this agreement would “recognise” Catalonia’s “singularity” and “improve its self-government” while always “respecting the implications of the principle of equality”. However, Sánchez didn’t specify whether this agreement would imply a new Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia. This bilateral agreement is one of the proposals in the document “Commitments for a ‘yes’ to the government of change” which PSOE presented this Monday. Another one is a possible reform of the funding scheme of the Autonomous Communities which would start in the next two months. 

CUP urge Puigdemont “to make a clear step towards the rupture” before January

April 6, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

Pro-independence radical left CUP presented a document analysing the recent political strategy regarding Catalonia’s push for independence and the steps to be taken in the near future. The document sets an ultimatum to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his government to keep the commitment in relation to the agreed roadmap towards independence. CUP urge pro-independence cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’to make a clear step “on the way towards the rupture”by the 10th of January, when the government will celebrate its first year in office. Otherwise, CUP will consider these 12 months “a fraud”and will therefore promote “a change of paradigm”. The document also nuances that this step has to “turn”the “contention”expressed so far in the government’s political and public discourse.

Barcelona reaches an agreement with Athens to initially host 100 refugees

March 16, 2016 06:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan capital reached an agreement with Athens to host 100 refugees from those living in camps in the Greek capital. This compromise is the first stage of a collaboration programme between both cities, which may be enhanced by the respective mayors in the near future. Since the competences regarding the refugees’ hosting depend on the Spanish State, Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, will send a letter to the current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, so that the necessary procedures can be started as soon as possible. In the same vein, Colau criticised Spain’s inactivity on this matter, pointing out that the Spanish government “took the compromise to relocate 16,000 people and have only relocated 18”, she stated.

Pedro Sánchez calls for “a majoritarian agreement” in the first round of the Spanish investiture debate

March 1, 2016 08:10 PM | ACN

Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez opened this Tuesday the first round of the investiture debate to instate a new Spanish President. During his speech, Sánchez assured that to make “the change” possible it is necessary to reach “a majoritarian agreement” and “leave Mr. Rajoy’s and the People’s Party’s politics behind”. The candidate to form government also stressed that PSOE “doesn’t aim to impose anything and has no red lines” in reference to alternative left Podemos, which has refused to support the agreement reached by PSOE and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans. Sánchez is far from the 176 votes required to be invested on Wednesday, as he has only secured the 90 votes of his own party, 40 from Ciutadans and 1 from the Canary Coalition (CC).

Korean telecom giant KT to set up in Barcelona

February 29, 2016 04:19 PM | ACN

KT Corporation has chosen Barcelona to be the “importation gateway for its products and services” in Europe, stated the Catalan Ministry for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget. The agreement with the Korean telecom giant was reached during the latest edition of the Mobile World Congress, which took place in Barcelona between the 22nd and the 25th of February, and established the setting up of a commercial office in Catalonia, as well as the creation of “jobs and investments” which are yet to be finalised. At the same time, the agreement foresees that KT will facilitate the distribution of Catalan products and technologies in the Korean market. 

PSOE and ‘Ciutadans’ reach an agreement and will oppose “any attempt” to hold a referendum in Catalonia

February 24, 2016 01:57 PM | ACN

Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ have agreed to form “a reformist and progressive” government. The 66-page document, which both parties signed this Wednesday, includes the commitment to oppose “any attempt to hold a referendum with the objective of launching the auto-determination of any territory in Spain”, in clear reference to Catalonia’s push for independence. The document also aims to launch, during the first month of the term of office, an ‘express reform’ of the Spanish Constitution and start writing a new project at the beginning of 2017. Thus, ‘Ciutadans’ will support PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez’s investiture in the upcoming debate, which will take place on the 1st of March. However, together both parties have only 130 seats, far from the 176 required to invest Sánchez in the first round.

The first Centre of Chinese Traditional Medicine outside Asia to be created in Barcelona

February 2, 2016 05:03 PM | ACN

The initiative will set up Catalonia as a point of reference in Europe regarding this kind of medicine. The agreement between the Catalan government and a consortium led by the Beijing government also includes actions in the fields of higher education, research, health and culture. For example, an official master’s degree in Chinese traditional medicine will be taught in collaboration with two Catalan universities, the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), and alongside with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. The project has been promoted by the Catalan Ministry for Business and Knowledge, through the area which focuses on attracting foreign investment, ACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment, and the Secretary for Universities and Research.

First plenary session of the new Catalan Government

January 20, 2016 06:52 PM | ACN

New Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called for “permanent dialogue”between the different parliamentary groups in the chamber, besides the agreement between pro-independence forces cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’and radical left CUP. During the first plenary session of the new Government, Puigdemont committed himself to putting Catalonia “on the verge of”independence within 18 months and doing it “with all the guarantees and without false moves”. The new Catalan President outlined two main objectives to be reached during this term of office. One is to maintain the services for all citizens in order to fight the consequences of the economic crisis and the other is to respond to the democratic mandate expressed in the 27-S Catalan Elections, which he defined as “clear and undeniable”. Puigdemont also explained the different departments of the new government, which he described as “renewed, reorganised and modern”.

Pro-independence forces reach an agreement and Artur Mas won’t be president

January 9, 2016 05:48 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Just when calling for new elections seemed to be unavoidable, cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP have finally reached an agreement to resolve the presidency of the new Catalan government and launch the independence roadmap. Current Catalan President and ‘Junts Pel Sí’s number four, Artur Mas has decided to step aside and president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) and mayor of Girona city, Carles Pugidemont, has been appointed as the candidate of consensus. In exchange, some of CUP’s MPs will resign in order to guarantee the stability of the new government. The investiture debate will take place on Sunday and a new President would have to be elected before midnight.