“Political dialogue urgently needed,” says Spanish Constitutional Court President in resignation speech

March 15, 2017 06:49 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) one of the legal bodies responsible for suspending the most initiatives aimed at executing Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap in the last few years, replaced its president this Wednesday. Francisco Pérez de los Cobos stepped down after nearly four years in office and took the opportunity to call for “political dialogue” . He defended Spain’s unity but admitted that the Spanish Constitution “can’t tackle all the problems derived from the constitutional order, especially those which emerge from the desire of one part of the state to alter its legal status”.  In the presence of the Spanish Minister for Justice, Rafael Català and the four magistrates which took office this Wednesday, Pérez de los Cobos emphasized that dialogue is an “urgent and unavoidable necessity”.

Catalan Government to keep referendum date despite TC suspension

February 14, 2017 06:26 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has definitely suspended the governing party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP joint proposal to call a referendum in 2017. A decision which, according to Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté “was not surprising” not even at “this extraordinary speed” and culminating “a tense week” during which the 9-N trial over symbolic vote on independence took place at Barcelona’s High Court. However, she assured that the ruling “won’t change the Government’s determination to call a referendum this year”. Munté emphasised that the joint resolution “was discussed and voted on by the Catalan MPs in accordance to the freedom of speech” and that these MPs were “democratically elected”. In a similar sense, CUP MP Benet Salellas warned that his group “will guarantee that the referendum takes place, regardless of the TC’s wishes”.

Rajoy says “there is no alternative” to him

August 30, 2016 07:00 PM | ACN

The leader of the People’s Party (PP) stressed in Parliament that he represents the only “viable” option to form a “stable” government in Spain. “It is urgent for Spain to have a government as soon as possible, a government ready to act, to put an end to this democratic anomaly”, he said referring to the eight-month period of political deadlock in Madrid. The PP has the support of Ciutadans (C’s) and the Canary Islands nationalists, but their 170 seats fall short of the majority needed to form a government. The main opposition party, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) will vote ‘no’ in the confidence vote scheduled for Wednesday, and so will Podemos and pro-Catalan independence parties ERC and PDC. As things stand, the PP does not have enough support for Rajoy to pass the confidence vote this week and Spain will continue without a functioning government.

The Catalan school model, at stake in negotiations to form a new Spanish government

August 24, 2016 12:41 PM | ACN

The conservative People’s Party (PP) and liberal unionist Ciutadans (C’s) are negotiating in order to form a stable majority for a new government in Spain and Catalonia is one of the main issues on the table. The MP from Ciutadans Jorge Soler has confirmed that the so-called ‘Catalan package’ of demands from C’s to the PP includes changing the school model, even though education is a devolved power in Catalonia. The current school model has been in place for more than 30 years and is widely recognised by school teachers unions, associations and experts, as well as families. In Catalan schools, Catalan is the language of instruction in order to guarantee that all pupils end their studies knowing both Catalan, which not everyone learns at home, and Spanish, which is widely used both in the media and on the street. However, C’s has always campaigned against this system, saying that it discriminates against Spanish families that want their children to be taught in the Spanish language. That’s why they’re asking the PP to scrap the system and introduce a trilingual model with Spanish, English and Catalan. Some of the other ‘Catalan-package’ demands of C’s is a new fiscal system and the prioritisation of key infrastructure projects such as the Mediterranean Corridor. Both PP and C’s frontally reject a referendum on independence in Catalonia.

C’s foresees a bad result for pro-independence parties in 2017

August 23, 2016 10:04 AM | ACN

The spokesman in the Catalan Parliament of the liberal and unionist party Ciutadans, Carlos Carrizosa, said in an interview with the CNA that voters in Catalonia will have to go to the polls next year because, according to him, the current government will collapse. “This very unstable government has the support of an unreliable and dangerous ally, the CUP, and it will not be able to survive beyond 2017. There will be elections and their result will worsen”, he stated. In September last year, Junts pel Sí and CUP together achieved 48% of the vote. According to Carrizosa, they won’t be able to improve this result in a new election, and this will mark the beginning of the end of the independence process. The Catalan government roadmap towards independence, led by President Carles Puigdemont, already foresees the call of an early constituent election next year.

National Art Museum of Catalonia’s 2016 season to centre around Picasso

March 8, 2016 08:05 PM | ACN

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) reviewed what its 2016 exhibitions would consist of, although the showings unofficially begun in December of 2015. The star exhibition of the season will be ´Picasso and Romanesque Art´, a joint venture with the Picasso Museum in Paris. Besides this, other exhibition centred onLuis “el Divino” Morales, Renaissance painting, 20th century photography and features on several Catalan artists, such as Lluïsa Vidal and Ismael Smith, will complete the MNAC’s agenda for 2016. The MNAC’s director, Pepe Serra, celebrated that the museum is finally “starting to have a normal planning rhythm for a museum of its size” which will allow the MNAC’s calendar to synchronise with “other international museums”.

SMEs ask the Government to keep the pro-independence process “within the law”

January 22, 2016 02:33 PM | ACN / Maria Fernández

The main Catalan trade association for small and medium-sized companies, Pimec, has repeatedly shown its support for Catalonia’s right to decide its political future. However, in an interview with CNA this Thursday, Pimec’s president Josep González called for the Government to keep the pro-independence process “within the law”. “Let’s do things, but let’s do them right and with common sense”, he stated. González also urged the new executive to approve a new budget as soon as possible and fight against unemployment. The association head went on to celebrate the election of the new Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, and defined him as “prudent, open-minded and educated”.

ERC calls on parties to negotiate “until the very last minute”

January 5, 2016 07:08 PM | ACN

Left wing ERC leader and ‘Junts Pel Sí’ number five, Oriol Junqueras, considers it “irresponsible” to talk about elections and urged current governing party liberal CDC and radical left CUP “to be loyal to the country” and “try to find an agreement”. Junqueras noted the “sacrifices” that ERC has made in order to reach the present situation and urged the other pro-independence forces to “use up all the deadlines” as agreement “is still possible”. “Very complicated negotiations have been solved in a few days, even in a few minutes” he stated. According to ERC’s leader, an agreement is better than “a scenario full of uncertainties” which would be elections in March.