antoni castellà

‘Catalan Democratic Party’, the new CDC, defined as pro-independence

July 11, 2016 09:18 PM | ACN

Liberal ‘Convergència’ (CDC) will be from now on named the ‘Catalan Democratic Party’. This is what 871 people voted for at this weekend’s 18th Congress of the party, while 657 opted for the other final option, the ‘Catalan National Party’. The aim of the Congress was to reinvent CDC, which ruled in Catalonia together with Christian Democrats ‘Unió’ for nearly 30 years, and adapt the party to “the new challenges ahead”. The ‘Catalan Democratic Party’ is defined as a pro-independence party instead of sovereigntist, which CDC used to be. Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, celebrated that the new party “is at the Government’s, Parliament’s and Catalan society’s disposal” to help him achieve the task which he was entrusted with, that is to say putting Catalonia at the gates of independence.

Governing CiU may split up after Christian-Democrat party UDC's consultation on Catalan independence

June 15, 2015 10:11 PM | ACN

The centre-right pro-Catalan State two-party coalition CiU, which runs the Catalan Government, may be on the verge of splitting up after three-and-a-half decades, and having run together in all the elections. The smaller force within the CiU, the Christian-Democrat party UDC, is going through serious internal tension over Catalonia's independence debate. The party leadership does not support independence, while a significant part of its members does. Added to this, the larger force within the CiU, the Liberal party CDC, is now the main party within the pro-independence camp. However, UDC does not have an official stance on independence and has been avoiding the issue so far, supporting Catalonia's right to self-determination, the organisation of a referendum on this issue and the creation of a Catalan State with full sovereignty, but without specifying its stance on the crucial point: whether this state would be fully independent or would be confederated with Spain. On Sunday, the party held an internal consultation on the party's role in the self-determination process. The vote became a plebiscite on the UDC's leadership. 51% of the members supported the leadership's approach and 46% voted against it.

Scientific production in Catalonia endures despite a 19% reduction of research funds

December 12, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

In 2011 and 2012, funds for scientific research in Catalonia dropped from €277 million to €224 million, a 19% decrease, according to a study issued on Friday by the Catalan Association of Public Universities. Despite this drastic budget reduction, scientific production has managed to keep similar levels to previous years and continue standing at levels similar to those in countries such as the UK or Belgium. The report compiles the main research and innovation indicators for 2011 and 2012. However, the main representatives of public universities warn that scientific production is at risk and could drop to pre-2010 levels if the budget situation does not shift. They also highlighted that public universities in Catalonia have the challenge of attracting greater private investment for its research projects.

Catalan centres are at the core of the billion-euro graphene and human brain research projects funded by the European Commission

January 30, 2013 10:17 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Through its FET-Flagship programme, the European Commission is allocating €1 billion to each of the two main research projects in Europe. The first one is a project to explore the properties of graphene, a new material deriving from graphite that might revolutionise industry as silicon did a few decades ago. The second one will simulate a human brain in order to understand how it exactly works. The Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology is one of the nine leading institutes coordinating the graphene project, in which 623 research groups from 32 different countries will participate. Furthermore, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center will take care of the calculations at a molecular level in the Human Brain Project.

Strike against university budget cuts has uneven support in Catalonia

November 18, 2011 06:27 PM | CNA / Sara Gómez

Students have protested against the Catalan Government’s measures intended to adjust university budgets. Protesters have criticised “privatisation”, with budget cuts and university tax increases. However, the Catalan Government denied these claims and said it had no intention of laying off 4,000 lecturers and researchers. As with other strikes, the figures presented by both sides are contradictory. Organisers talk about a “success” and stress that in some faculties classes were completely suspended. Nevertheless, official information states the uneven support of students for the strike action, ranging from 25% to 40% depending on the faculty.