alfredo perez rubalcaba

Socialist leadership changes but their stance on Catalonia's self-determination does not

July 14, 2014 09:07 PM | ACN

Madrid-born Pedro Sánchez won the primaries of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) with 48% of the votes and will be elected the party's new Secretary General, replacing Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Meanwhile, Miquel Iceta received 85% of the votes and will replace Pere Navarro as the new Secretary General of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), being the only candidate in these primaries. Both of them share the previous leaderships' views on Catalonia's self-determination process: they oppose independence and November's consultation vote. Both the PSOE and the PSC held elections on Sunday but the primaries' winners will be officially elected by the emergency party congresses to be held over the next two weekends. Sánchez defeated Eduardo Madina (36%) and José Antonio Pérez Tápias (15%), who was the only candidate fully supporting Catalonia's self-determination vote and shaping Spain as a pluri-national state.

Main candidate to lead Spanish Socialist Party would accept a "legal" Catalan self-determination vote

June 16, 2014 09:45 PM | ACN

Eduardo Madina, who is probably the person best positioned to become the new Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) in July, stated he "is not scared" of citizen participation if it is "legal", when asked about Catalonia's self-determination vote scheduled on 9 November.  In a radio interview on Monday, Madina emphasised that "if there are possibilities to reach an agreement within the legal framework, the citizen participation mechanisms through legal methods seem alright to me". He added, "If everything is done within the legal framework, I am not scared of citizen participation". He also insisted that the Spanish Constitution can be reformed and that it should be done in order to push for a federal system.

Catalan Socialist leader resigns due to electoral clashes and internal tensions for self-determination

June 11, 2014 09:41 PM | ACN

Pere Navarro, First Secretary of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) – which is federated to the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), has finally decided to resign, after many people within the party had asked him for big changes since the last European elections. On the 25th of May, the PSC passed from having 36% of Catalans' votes in the 2009 European elections to 14% of them, dropping  from first to third position as the most voted party. Back then, Navarro refused to resign, despite the Secretary General of the PSOE, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, announcing he was stepping down due to the Socialists' poor results throughout Spain. In parallel, the PSC members openly supporting self-determination – which is totally rejected by the PSOE – announced they were thinking of splitting and forming their own party, after being gradually side-lined by Navarro in the last 2 years. In the last few days, Navarro desperately tried to keep the party united but since he was not succeeding, he faced increasing pressure to step down.

Business and Socialist pressure to talk and to reform Constitution, but Spanish Government remains opposed

May 30, 2014 10:30 PM | ACN

On Thursday and Friday, several messages were sent from business circles and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) aiming to negotiate a Constitutional Reform to find a better accommodation of Catalonia within Spain. However, on Friday afternoon, the Spanish Government once again closed the door to such a Constitutional Reform saying there was "no consensus". In the morning, Spain's largest business owners association stated that "laws are not immortal" and "can be changed to adapt to reality". The day before, the President of the Cercle d'Economia business lobby said he supported "a legal" consultation vote "agreed with Spain", but asked the Catalan President "to give dialogue a second chance" and reform the Constitution if necessary. On Friday, the Secretary General of the PSOE stated that such a Constitutional Reform should be negotiated among the governing People's Party (PP), the PSOE and Catalonia. However, it would not recognise Catalonia's right to self-determination. The CiU's 'number 2' replied that the Spanish Government rejects talks. 

Earthquake among the Catalan Socialists for the self-determination vote

January 15, 2014 07:34 PM | ACN

The Mayor of Lleida, Angel Ros, announced he was quitting the Catalan Parliament since he rejects voting against self-determination on Thursday, as imposed by the leadership of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). 4 other MPs might break from the party lines as well and a 6th one - who had expressed serious doubts - finally announced he would follow the leadership instructions. They represent 30% of the PSC MPs, so their ‘rebellion’ is far from being an anecdote. In fact, the party leadership warned them they might even end up being expelled if they were breaking the ranks on this crucial vote. On Thursday, the Catalan Parliament will vote on an initiative asking the Spanish Parliament to transfer the powers to organise a referendum to the Catalan Government, following Article 150.2 of the Spanish Constitution. This formula – similar to the one used in Scotland – would enable the organisation of a legal self-determination referendum in Catalonia, something the PSC explicitly promised in the last elections but is now rejecting.

People’s Party rejects the Socialists’ territorial reform to better fit Catalonia

January 14, 2014 08:38 PM | ACN

The People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government and holds an absolute majority in the Parliament and Senate, closed the door on launching a broad debate on Spain’s territorial organisation and on reforming the Constitution accordingly. The objective of this reform would be to keep Catalonia within Spain by answering some of the Catalan claims and working towards an improved relationship. “We are not willing to open debates that divide the Spaniards”, stated Alfonso Alonso, the PP Spokesperson at the Spanish Parliament. The Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, had sent a letter to the President of the Spanish Parliament, asking him to create “a body” to debate on a broad territorial reform.

Spanish Socialists propose a “territorial reform” to better fit Catalonia

January 13, 2014 07:13 PM | ACN

The Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, sent a letter to the President of the Spanish Parliament, Jesús Posada, asking him to create “a parliamentary body to talk about the renovation of the territorial model”. This was one of the conclusions of last week’s meeting between Rubalcaba and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is part of the PSOE. The final objective is to push for a broad Constitutional reform to create a true federal Spain and better fit Catalonia, providing an alternative from the current status quo or independence. However, the initiative faces a negative answer from the People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government and holds an absolute majority in the Parliament and Senate.

PSOE rules out the Catalan Socialists’ patch to keep Catalonia within Spain

December 27, 2013 07:51 PM | ACN

“There is only one reform of the Constitution and it the one we have already agreed on”, stated the Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, in response to the Catalan Socialists’ proposal to approve a “singular redefinition” of Catalonia’s “fitting” within Spain. Rubalcaba said that the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) – which is member of the PSOE – had not sent him any proposal on this issue. “They should explain it to me. I do not know anything about it”, he said when he was asked about the PSC’s proposal. In an exclusive interview with the CNA, the PSC’s Spokesperson at the Catalan Parliament, Maurici Lucena, explained that a temporary measure should be adopted urgently to better fit Catalonia within Spain while waiting for a global reform of the Spanish Constitution, a lengthy process that can take years.

The Spanish Government “will not allow” and “will not negotiate” on Catalonia’s self-determination vote

December 12, 2013 10:08 PM | ACN

“I want to tell you with all clarity that this consultation will not take place”, emphasised the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. “It goes radically against the Constitution and the law” and “it frontally clashes against the indissoluble unity of Spain”, he insisted. The “unity of Spain and the sovereignty belonging to the Spanish people as a whole are not debatable and are out of any negotiation”, he added. Therefore, the Spanish Government, run by People’s Party (PP), completely rejects authorising a self-determination vote in Catalonia, whose exact question and date had been agreed on this Thursday amongst a majority of Catalan parties. The parties had decided to hold the vote on November 9, 2014 in order for the Spanish institutions to have time to negotiate the procedures. Meanwhile, the main civil society organisations pushing for Catalonia’s independence announced they were accepting the question.

Catalan Socialists to oppose any self-determination initiative without Madrid’s approval

November 11, 2013 10:02 PM | ACN

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is federated to the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), has decided to harden its strategy towards Catalonia’s right to self-determination. In the PSOE’s extraordinary Political Conference, which took place last weekend, the PSC and the PSOE agreed not to break their union and to offer a more coordinated message. The PSC supports the Catalan people’s right to self-determination, but the PSOE totally rejects it. The compromise solution will be that the Catalan Socialists will stop making explicit contributions for an agreed self-determination vote in Catalonia and will focus on opposing any initiative in favour of Catalonia’s self-determination that has not been previously agreed with the Spanish institutions.

The Catalan Executive expects the Spanish establishment to make an offer regarding Catalonia’s self-government

October 29, 2013 09:52 PM | ACN / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In the last few days, there has been an attempt to build bridges between Catalonia and Spain, despite the visible increase of tension between the two governments. In public the Catalan and Spanish Executives are heading for a collision but at the same time discreet manoeuvres explore alternative ways out. This Tuesday, the ‘number 2’ of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) – which runs the Catalan Government – Josep Antoni Duran I Lleida acknowledged that he met with the Spanish Prime Minister and leader of the People’s Party (PP) Mariano Rajoy on the 16th October. Besides, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, met on Friday with the Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) to talk about a constitutional change. Today, the Spokesperson of the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, stated that Catalonia is waiting for an offer from the Spanish establishment. Although “there is no deadline” for this offer, the self-determination process will not be waiting for it, although if it arrives it will be studied.

The Spanish socialists offer a constitutional reform to Mas but reject a referendum on independence

October 26, 2013 01:12 PM | ACN

At a meeting with Catalan President Artur Mas, the Spanish socialist party (PSOE) leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba offered support for constitutional reform in Spain, but rejected the idea of a referendum on independence. Mas said that the legal framework cannot be used to “abort” the plans for an independence referendum. He added that it is an “enormous” mistake to think that. Rubalcaba said that the constitutional reform offer is an alternative “to a vote for separation”.

The Spanish Socialist Party backs a constitutional reform but rejects allowing Catalonia’s self-determination vote

April 10, 2013 01:05 AM | CNA

The leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, and the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, secretly met on Sunday in Madrid, along with the Secretary General of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), Pere Navarro. Mas urged the PSOE to include the People’s Party (PP) in the debate on the reform of the Spanish Constitution and he warned that including the right to a self-determination vote is a “basic and essential condition” for a large majority of Catalans. The PSC, despite opposing Catalonia’s independence from Spain, backs its right to vote for self-determination, but Rubalcaba is completely opposed to it and considers it to be “impossible” to ever reach an agreement on such a vote. However, Rubalcaba insisted on the need to find a better relationship between Catalonia and Spain, in order to “remain together for centuries to come”.