Vaccination proof required for tourists arriving from Argentina, Australia and Canada
Nine southern African countries moved from 'high risk' to 'risk' category
New all-time high of Catalans living abroad
Unprecedented drop in numbers residing in South America as western Pyrenees sees greatest percentage of emigrants
Lionel Messi wins record 6th Ballon d’Or
Barcelona captain overtakes rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the all-time list
69 Argentinian dignitaries ask for end of Spain's 'repression' on Catalonia
Led by Nobel Peace Prize awarded Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, they have signed manifesto calling for "dialogue" in order to put an end to independence crisis
Government appoints new delegates despite Spain’s challenges
Catalonia will open new offices in Argentina, Mexico and Tunisia
Abertis to invest in Argentina €223 million
Argentinian government guarantees the leading Catalan road management multinational a license extension until 2030
Temporada Alta Festival Director: "If Catalonia was one big city, Girona would be its theatre quarter"
Salvador Sunyer, Director of the theatre festival Temporada Alta, is a great example of what defines an entrepreneur. He created the company ‘Bitò Produccions’ in Girona in 1992 along with two professional local actors who wanted to stimulate theatrical activities in the city. They immediately planned the creation of a new festival called the ‘Temporada Alta’ 24 years ago as a short cycle based on premieres, but it has grown at such a great speed that they have achieved a 90% occupancy rate every year since 2000. Last year they sold 94% of all tickets. Without a doubt, the Festival has become a point of reference in the sector, considered by experts as the best festival in Spain in terms of quality and pioneering spirit. For this reason, in 2010, Sunyer received Catalonia's National Theatral Award. Sunyer works hard to bring to Girona the greatest artists from the international scene as well as being a platform for presenting new local talents
Francoism victims denounce in Brussels the impunity of the dictatorship’s crimes in Spain
The victims of Franco's regime have denounced before the European Parliament in Brussels crimes committed during the dictatorship and their impunity in Spain. They urged EU institutions to play “a more active and committed role” in facing the problem. Merçona Puig, sister of Salvador Puig Antich, who was one of the last victims of the Francoist garrotte executions, hopes that this action will serve “to apply pressure” so that Francoist ex-ministers can be extradited to Argentina, where there is an ongoing judicial process. Other figures also participated in the Brussels event, such as representatives of the association for babies stolen during the dictatorship and the association of the 1976 Vitoria massacre, where police fired on striking workers.
Son of former Catalan President, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, speaks about some of his businesses but not the Andorran money
Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, has testified before the Catalan Parliament’s commission investigating fraud and corruption. He did so after the testimonies of his father and mother, while all 3 have been indicted and are in the middle of judicial processes for alleged fraud. Unlike his parents, Pujol Jr answered most of the questions posed - except those related to money the family had kept in Andorra for 34 years without informing the Spanish tax authorities. Pujol Jr said he will explain this directly to the judge in his testimony scheduled for the 26th of March. However, he did speak before the parliamentary commission for 4.5 hours about some of his business activities and his accumulated wealth. He also denied having operated from fiscal havens (besides the family money in Andorra) and having practiced influence peddling or any corrupt activity profiting from his father’s position. Besides this, he also emphasised he is an “intimate friend” of the current Catalan President, Artur Mas, despite the latter having denied this a few days ago.
Catalan riders Marc Coma and Laia Sanz make history at Dakar 2015
Two Catalan drivers made history this weekend at the end of the Dakar Rally 2015. Motorbike rider Marc Coma won his fifth Dakar, equalling the five titles of French drivers Cyril Neveu and Cyril Despres. Coma has become the second driver with the most triumphs in the category, just one victory less than Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel. Rider Laia Sanz finished ninth, the best position for a woman of all time. In addition, Catalonia had a large representation in this edition, with racers in all four categories, especially in motorbikes. Of the 25 Catalan racers that started the Rally on the 4th of January, almost half made it to Buenos Aires last Saturday, after covering 9,000 kilometres in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Spanish Government and PP insist on comparing Catalan independence movement with Nazism
On the same day, both the Spanish Justice Minister, Rafael Català, and the 'number 2' of the governing People's Party (PP), María Dolores de Cospedal, compared Catalonia's self-determination process with the Fascist and Nazi movements of the 1930s. Such a comparison trivialises Nazism and is highly offensive for millions of Catalan citizens. The Catalan pro-independence movement mainly demands to hold a democratic vote on independence, as in Scotland, and it has always acted in a peaceful and festive way. The expert in European populism, Meindert Fennema, stated he considered that to compare Catalan self-determination with Nazism to be "ridiculous" and "nonsensical". On top of this, he highlighted that Catalonia's society is highly inclusive, since it has welcomed and integrated millions of immigrants in the last 100 years. In fact, 70% of the Catalan population has origins from outside Catalonia and 80% of the Catalan population want to hold a self-determination vote.
10 international figures, including 2 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, support Catalonia's right to self-determination
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Argentinian activist Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, both of whom were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as UK film-maker Ken Loach, Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, UK historian Paul Preston, American sociologist Richard Sennett, US writer Harold Bloom, Portuguese writer António Lobo Antunes, Irish activist Bill Shipsey and US former ambassador Ambler Moss have issued the 'Let Catalans Vote' manifesto. "A majority of Catalans have repeatedly expressed in different ways the wish to exercise their democratic right to vote on their political future" the document starts. Mentioning the positive examples of Quebec and Scotland, the signers stress that "to prevent the Catalans from voting seems to contradict the principles that inspire democratic societies". Finally, they urge the Spanish and Catalan governments to agree on a vote and "to negotiate in good faith based on the result".