alícia sánchez-camacho

Catalonia requests the Spanish Parliament to transfer powers to organise referendums

January 16, 2014 06:50 PM | ACN

The Catalan Parliament has approved a resolution to formally request the Spanish Parliament to transfer the powers to organise referendums to the Catalan Government, following Article 150.2 of the Constitution. This mechanism will allow the Catalan Executive to directly call a self-determination referendum, a similar formula to the Scotland case. 87 MPs (64.4% of the Parliament) have backed the proposal and 43 MPs (31.8%) have voted against it. The 3 MPs of the radical left-wing and independence party CUP have abstained, arguing they do not think Spain has anything to say on Catalonia’s self-determination. Furthermore, 3 MPs from the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) have also backed the text, breaking the party leadership’s instructions. This vote is a true earthquake for the PSC, which might eventually split up.

Catalan President guarantees he will call a self-determination vote on November 9th

January 7, 2014 08:16 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, insisted this Tuesday he will organise a self-determination vote within the legal framework on the date agreed upon by four political groups 3 weeks ago. In a press conference following the first Cabinet Meeting of 2014, Mas ruled out the possibility of making changes in the government he chairs on the short-term, after speculations that the Catalan Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) could sit in the Cabinet, formed by members from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and independents. In addition, he identified “a cross slope” in the economic, social and political context, referring to a slight recovery, after 6 “terrible and fearsome years”.

Catalan Finance Minister calls the PP “obstructionist” for blocking next year’s budget

December 18, 2013 02:41 PM | ACN

Andreu Mas-Colell, Catalan Finance Minister, considered the People’s Party (PP) to be “obstructionist” for blocking the approval of the Catalan Government’s budget for 2014, which was initially scheduled for this week. On Tuesday evening the PP – which runs the Spanish Government – confirmed it was freezing the implementation of the €29.31 billion budget because it included €5 million (0.0176% of the total spending) to fund “electoral processes and citizen consultations”. Mas-Colell warned that by delaying the budget’s implementation, the Catalan Government will lose revenue coming from new taxes and therefore it will have more difficulties meeting the deficit targets for 2014. All the parties in the Catalan Parliament criticised the PP’s initiative except the anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans (C’s), which backed the action.

PP is considering blocking Catalan Government’s budget for 2014

December 16, 2013 08:09 PM | ACN

The People’s Party (PP) – which runs the Spanish Government – has announced it is looking at the possibility of freezing the approval of the Catalan Executive’s own budget. They are considering blocking the €29.31 billion budget because it will allocate €5 million (0.017% of the total spending) to a “citizen consultation”. The approval of such a budget is essential to meet the 1% deficit target for 2014. However, the PP fears this money could be used to organise the self-determination vote in 2014. The PP’s leader in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, has announced she was talking with the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, on blocking the budget’s approval. The CiU, running the Catalan Government, has stated it is “a mistake”.

Controversial historical symposium begins by praising Catalonia’s affection towards Spanish society

December 12, 2013 03:16 PM | ACN

An enormous controversy has been raised around the academic symposium ‘Spain against Catalonia: An historical overview (1714-2014)’ that kicks off this Thursday in Barcelona. At the opening session, the Catalan Minister for the Presidency highlighted the “great affection” that Catalan people feel “towards Spanish society and its plurality and richness”, but not towards “the Spanish State and its institutions”. Furthermore he pointed out that the symposium does not aim “to impose anything”, but “to offer arguments” while “knowing that one single truth” does not exist. The event aims to reflect on the political, economic, social and cultural repression that the Spanish State has inflicted on Catalan people and institutions over the last 300 years. Prestigious university experts will give lectures on specific issues. However, the People’s Party, which runs the Spanish Government, and two other Spanish nationalist parties took actions aimed at cancelling the event.

Spanish nationalists want to close an academic history symposium in Catalonia

December 11, 2013 05:33 PM | ACN

With the title ‘Spain against Catalonia: an historical overview (1714-2014)’, this academic symposium aims to discuss the political, economic, social and cultural repression the Spanish State has carried out against Catalan institutions and people throughout the last 300 years. The event will offer more than 20 lectures given by prestigious university chairs. It is organised by Catalonia’s Science and Language Academy (IEC) and by the Centre of Contemporary History of Catalonia, which is linked to the Catalan Government. The symposium has raised controversy with its title. The People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, has made cancelling the event a condition for holding a dialogue with the Catalan Executive. Furthermore, the PP, the anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans (C’s) and the Spanish nationalist and populist UPyD have filed a complaint against the symposium for “spreading hate”. Paradoxically, UPyD compared the symposium with “Nazism”.

Método 3 political espionage case affecting the Catalan PP leader is closed

December 9, 2013 08:07 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s High Court has decided to close the case since the leader of the People’s Party (PP) in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, reached an extra-judiciary deal with the espionage agency Método 3. The agency had recorded a private conversation with the former girlfriend of the eldest son of Jordi Pujol, the historical leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). Parts of the alleged recorded conversation involving the Pujol family were leaked, as well as information about their own intimate lives and other PP leader’s private life. Speculations about who ordered the recording pointed towards the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), CiU and even the PP or Sánchez-Camacho herself. Now one of the shadiest political scandals in Catalonia will end without any public conclusions. This contradicts Sánchez-Camacho’s initial statement, when the story was first made public. At the time, she had stated that she would go “until the end” to shed light on the issue.

Five thousand march in Barcelona in support of Spanish unity

December 6, 2013 06:58 PM | ACN

The People’s Party (PP) – running the Spanish Government, the anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s) and the Spanish-nationalist party UPyD – with no MPs in Catalonia – participated in a march to support the current Constitution and the unity of Spain. The demonstration was organised by the alliance ‘Som Catalunya, Somos España’ (We are Catalonia [in Catalan], we are Spain [in Spanish]), chaired by the former C’s MP José Domingo. It aimed to be a massive march, as an answer to the demonstrations in favour of Catalan independence that gathered around 1.5 million people each. It was also the second part of the demonstration organised for Spain’s National Day, almost two months ago. Back then, 30,000 people demonstrated for Spanish unity while this Friday there were 5,000 demonstrators according to Barcelona Local Police.

Catalan President asks the Socialists not to run away from self-determination

November 19, 2013 04:46 PM | ACN

The parties supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination regret the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC)’s decision to step down from giving active support to this political process. Last week the PSC’s leadership decided not to back any initiative in favour of a self-determination vote that has not been agreed in advance with the Spanish Government, which totally rejects the idea and even refuses to talk about it. The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, asked the PSC “not to get off the train”, stressing the party’s tradition of defending Catalan language, culture, identity and self-government. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) consider the PSC is now against a self-determination vote.

A self-determination vote without a ‘third way’ and a more social budget for 2014

September 26, 2013 11:46 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) agreed on speeding up the process of building “state structures” and drafting the “most social budget” in Catalonia’s recent history. In addition, Mas criticised the ‘third way’ between independence from Spain and the current situation proposed by the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and CiU’s ‘number 2’, saying that Catalans “have been trying” this way “for the last 100 years” and “it has never worked”. Spanish nationalist People’s Party (PP) and Ciutadans (C’s) called on Mas to stop the self-determination process. However, the main Catalan parties, from left to right and representing 77% of the parliamentary seats, presented a common text supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination through a legal vote.

The majority of Catalan parties propose an independence vote in 2014 the day after the human chain

September 12, 2013 10:19 PM | ACN

The day after Catalonia’s National Day and the 1.6 million strong human chain supporting independence from Spain, Catalan parties reacted to the massive demonstration. The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, re-affirmed yesterday his “commitment” to organising a referendum on self-determination for 2014. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) declared its intention to work with other parties and civil society organisations on having the question and exact date for the vote ready within the next two months in order to call it in 2014. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) asked the other parties to put forward their projects for the day after the referendum.

Judge indicts the Catalan Socialist Party’s CFO for the ‘Método 3’ political espionage case

July 19, 2013 06:23 PM | ACN

In February, the offices of the private detective company Método 3 in Barcelona were searched by the Spanish Police, who brought to court many documents and computers in order to start a thorough investigation on political espionage in Catalonia. The case is affecting the People’s Party (PP), the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). The judicial investigation is still ongoing, but much of the information – most of the time contradictory – has been leaked in the past few months. The case’s main focus is the recording of a private conversation at a Barcelona restaurant between the leader of the Catalan PP, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, and the former girlfriend of the oldest son of the CiU’s historical leader, Jordi Pujol. Who is behind the recording is still a mystery, but some voices have pointed towards the PP, the CiU or the PSC. However, the PSC is the first one to have one of its members indicted.

Party Review – the Spanish Nationalist People’s Party (PP) focuses on stopping the “independence delirium”

November 21, 2012 10:32 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

As opposed to the rest of Spain, the PP is a small party within Catalonia. In the last Catalan elections, they got their best results ever, increasing from 14 to 18 seats in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament and obtaining 12.37% of the votes. In the last elections, the Catalan branch of the PP , led by Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, focused on immigration and the economic crisis. Now, while they are running the Spanish Government and have negotiated many austerity measures in Catalonia, the PP is focusing on fighting the “independence delirium”, as they call it. All its leaders, including Rajoy, are participating intensively in the campaign. The PP presents itself as the “useful vote” to stop Catalonia’s self-determination process, as they think of Spain as not being a pluri-national state. Polls give them between 16 and 19 MPs and they could become the second largest party in the Catalan Parliament.

The official campaign for the Catalan elections starts focused on the independence debate

November 9, 2012 10:56 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Elections for the Catalan Parliament, which will elect the next President of the Catalan Government, are to be held on the 25th of November. The two-week electoral campaign has started, with Catalonia’s independence as the main topic of debate, while opposition parties are trying to put the budget cuts and the recovery from the economic crisis upfront. On Thursday, minutes before midnight, political parties officially kicked off the campaign, although the race started a month and a half ago, when the Catalan President, Artur Mas, called for early elections. Surveys indicate that Mas’ party, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), will win the elections again, with improved results and close to an absolute majority. Catalonia’s political map may change with the Socialist Party likely to drop.

The Catalan President will organise a vote for self determination even if the Spanish Government bans it

September 27, 2012 02:35 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In the Catalan Parliament’s main annual debate, the parties assessed the current situation and the Catalan President’s speech from yesterday. The parties that openly support Catalonia’s independence backed the Catalan President and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) but asked to rush proceedings. Those supporting the right to self-determination but not necessarily independence and those directly opposing independence criticised CiU’s policies for fighting the crisis and its focus on the process to create a state. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, offered a detailed reply to each intervention. However, he also made an announcement: if he is re-elected President, he will organise a referendum on self-rule, even if the Spanish Government bans it.