Andorra to investigate Spanish “coercion” to frame Catalan officials

May 30, 2017 06:30 PM | ACN

The Human Rights Institute of Andorra (IHDA) and the Catalan rights association ‘Drets’, have filed a joint complaint before the courts in Andorra against four Spanish police officers who were part of the alleged smear campaign of the Spanish Ministry of Interior against Catalan officials, the so-called “Operation Catalonia”. The highly ranked police officers shall be investigated for crimes such as threatening, coercion and extortion of citizens of Andorra with the objective of “obtaining information” on “supposedly existing bank accounts” of Catalan pro-independence politicians in order “to destroy their public image”. Representatives of the private accusation explained to the press on Tuesday that the alleged pressures of the Spanish National Police forces on citizens of another country violate international treaties, and represent a “state crime”. The complaint has already been accepted by the Instruction Court (Batllia) number 2 of Andorra.

Andorra La Vella and La Seu d’Urgell to organize 2018 Special Olympic Games

May 4, 2017 12:33 PM | ACN / ANA / Adrià Solé

The joint bid between Andorra la Vella, the capital of the Principality of Andorra and the closest Catalan town, La Seu d’Urgell, to organize the 2018 Special Olympics Games has been successful. The Mayor of Andorra la Vella, Marc Pons, and the mayor of La Seu d’Urgell, Albert Batalla, made this public last week. The two mayors said the games would be a challenge and there will promote the two cities as sports centers and towns of solidarity. The event will be held from the 4th to 7th of October and will bring more than 2,400 people from more than seventeen international delegations. This will be the first time that the Special Olympic Games, the most important international sports event for athletes with mental disability, will be held in the Pyrenees.


Former Catalan President Jordi Pujol testifies before Spain’s High Court and denies being a corrupt politician

February 10, 2016 06:37 PM | ACN

The judicial process for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering against family members of the President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003 Jordi Pujol continues. This Wednesday, Pujol testified before Spain's High Court, 'La Audiencia Nacional', and gave further details on his father’s legacy, some €4 million which it is alleged was kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing tax authorities. He insisted that his father, Florenci, left the sum for Jordi Pujol’s wife and children, not for him, due to the risk of retaliation for his political activities in the years after Franco’s death. The founder of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU in the 1970s also set himself apart from some of his sons’ businesses and denied being a corrupt politician. His wife, Marta Ferrusola, refused to answer any questions from either the judge or the prosecution.

'The torches of the Pyrenees', UNESCO element of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

December 1, 2015 11:07 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Although the candidature was presented by the Andorran government, there are Catalan, Spanish and French villages amongst the 63 municipalities from the Pyrenees which share the celebration of this festival. In fact its transversal nature was one of the most valuable points of the candidature, according to UNESCO's committee. On the night of the summer solstice, people carry flaming torches from the mountains to light traditionally constructed beacons. The descent is a special moment for young people, signifying the transition from adolescence to adulthood but also a time for regenerating social ties and strengthening feelings of belonging and identity. In 2010 UNESCO recognised another Catalan tradition, Catalan human towers, as one of the most genuine and unique cultural practices in Europe.

Son of former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, tells judge how Andorran money grew

March 26, 2015 10:42 PM | ACN

Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, has testified in court to explain the management of the money his family kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Jordi Pujol senior confessed the alleged fraud in July, shocking the entire Catalan society and destroying his moral leadership. In the past few months, the former Catalan President (1980-2003), his wife, and 6 of their 7 children have been indicted for alleged fiscal fraud, and 3 of them are also indicted for other corruption and fraud cases. The Spanish authorities may have known about irregular activities of the Pujol family for decades, but it only made front-pages when the former President started to publicly support independence. Besides, the Catalan Parliament have already undertaken a series of hearings to investigate potential corrupt practices during Pujol's governments.