Party review: ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ (‘Catalonia Yes we can’), a new alternative left-wing coalition

September 17, 2015 06:35 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV and alternative left-wing Podem (the Catalan branch of the Spanish party Podemos),running under the name 'Catalunya Sí que es Pot' (in English, 'Catalonia yes we can'), is a new party designed to run in the 27-S Catalan elections. Its leader, Lluís Rabell, comes from the social and neighbourhood community scene and claims to be the voice of “the social majority that is being silenced by the independence debate” in Catalonia. Regarding Catalonia’s push for independence, ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ is for “the celebration of an agreed consultation which can be recognised internationally” and, in order to have this, they find it indispensable to “overthrow the Conservative People’s Party (PP) in Spain”.

Party Review – PPC, the Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party

September 16, 2015 05:15 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

In the last Catalan elections, in 2012, the PPC got their best results ever, increasing from 18 to 19 seats in the 135-seat Catalan Parliament. The PP was already ruling the Spanish government by that time and its politics regarding Catalonia’s sovereignty were harsh and recentralising. For the upcoming 27-S elections the PPC has changed its candidate: Xavier García Albiol, former mayor of Badalona, the third city in Catalonia, substitutes Alicia Sánchez Camacho. Albiol represents the more extreme faction of the PPC and he has been accused of being xenophobic by his political opponents. He is openly against the independence of Catalonia: he thinks the process is “a romantic adventure led by Artur Mas” and he aims to stand up for those “millions of Catalans who don’t want to stop being Spanish”.


Party review: Radical left-wing and pro-independence CUP

September 14, 2015 06:37 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The CUP was one of the biggest surprises in the 2012 Catalan elections. This radical left-wing and pro-independence candidacy, which comes from the social movements and started its political career on the local level, entered the Catalan Parliament for the first time three years ago and its influence in the Catalan government, as well as its popular support, has hugely increased since then. The CUP’s programme regarding the upcoming 27-S elections is clear: they accept the “plebiscitary” nature of the elections but bid for an independence that goes much further. As is stated by its slogan, the CUP fights for an “independence to change it all”.

Electoral campaign for the 27-S kicks off on Catalonia’s National Day

September 11, 2015 12:10 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

This year the electoral campaign for the upcoming 27th of September elections starts on the 11th of September, Catalonia’s National Day. In total 40 lists of candidates are running for the Catalan elections, 39 less than in the last elections in 2012, with many of the candidates being newcomers. This reduction in the number of candidacies is due to the creation of unitary lists made up by coalitions between different parties and even civil society organisations in order to have a wider representation in an election that is set to be a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence. 

Municipal elections take place on Sunday in Catalonia in uncertain and agitated atmosphere

May 22, 2015 10:28 PM | ACN

Catalans are holding their municipal elections on Sunday, while the elections to the Catalan Parliament are to be held in September, as opposed to other parts of Spain, where they are voting for their regional parliaments on Sunday. These municipal elections come after 7 years of economic crisis and also with very uncertain political horizons. Two debates have dominated the campaign: Catalonia’s independence and the rise of new or secondary parties that promise to change the current model. For many people in Catalonia, Sunday’s elections will be a first stage of the ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence that is going to take place with the Catalan elections on 27 September. It is also the opportunity to support changing the current political, economic and social model, with the rise of alternative left coalitions. Furthermore, majorities and town halls go through significant changes, particularly in Barcelona and the cities of its Metropolitan Area, where there are no clear winners forecast and surprises are likely to happen.

4,000 tonnes of food are expected to be collected in Catalonia this weekend for those in need

November 28, 2014 11:56 PM | ACN

Early on Friday morning, the "Gran Recapte" ("The Great Collection") - a campaign to collect food donations in order to redistribute it to people in need – began across Catalonia, and will be underway until late on Saturday evening. Organised by Catalonia’s main food bank, El Banc dels Aliments, it collects donations of non-perishable food products such as milk, flour, oil, beans and pasta from organisations and individuals, with the cooperation of many markets and supermarkets. With the help of 20,000 volunteers, this food will then be shared out among up to 250,000 people in the coming weeks. The new President of the Food Bank, Eduard Arruga, believes this year people are more aware of the campaign than ever. In Barcelona, it began at 9.30am and, in the neighbourhood Sants, attendance was already high. 

Independence supporters to mobilise 100,000 volunteers in a door-to-door campaign throughout Catalonia

September 17, 2014 09:37 PM | ACN

The cross-cutting campaign that intends to visit each home in Catalonia will be launched on the same day that the Spanish authorities are expected to ban the self-determination consultation vote. The two civil society associations that organised the 3 peaceful and massive pro-independence rallies in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (which gathered more than 1.5 million people each), Catalonia's National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, are behind this initiative. They say that their aim is not to convince citizens but to listen to them and make a survey about what kind of country Catalans want. Furthermore, with this wide campaign they want to support the consultation vote and raise awareness of it. Such a vote should take place on the 9th of November, as it was agreed in December 2013 by two thirds of the Catalan Parliament following the mandate from the 2012 Catalan elections.

The 3rd massive Catalan independence demonstration will be backed by events abroad

August 1, 2014 09:04 PM | ACN / Neringa Sinkeviciute

The Catalan National Assembly, a grass-roots organisation, and Òmnium Cultural, a non-profit association promoting Catalan culture, are behind the massive independence demonstrations of 2012, 2013 and 2014, and in July they presented their new campaign 'Now it's time, united for a new country'. They aimed to mobilize the Catalan people for the self-determination vote scheduled on November the 9th. There will be events throughout Catalonia and abroad during the 2 months before Catalonia’s National Day (September the 11th). On that day, a massive demonstration in the shape of a giant V, for 'Votar' (To Vote) and 'Victòria' (Victory), will take place in Barcelona, which is expected to become the largest rally in the Catalonia's history. In addition, more than 30 ANC groups abroad are organising a worldwide campaign #votecatalonia. The political marketing firm Blue State Digital, which managed Obama's digital campaigns, is involved in the initiative.

Self-determination parties clearly win the Catalan elections but the governing CiU loses significant support

November 26, 2012 02:27 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The parties defending the organisation of an independence referendum within the next four years increase their support and obtain 64.4% of the seats in the new Catalan Parliament. In addition, the parties clearly defending independence get 54.4% of the MPs. The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which has been running the Catalan Government and aimed for “an exceptional majority”, loses 12 MPs thus obtaining only 50 seats in the 135-seat Parliament. The Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) becomes the second-largest force, increasing the number of its MPs from 10 to 21. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) drops from 28 to 20 seats. The People’s Party, which currently runs the Spanish Government, increases their support by 1 MP, obtaining 19 seats. Support for the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) grows from 10 to 13 MPs. The anti-Catalan nationalism and left-wing party Ciutadans (C’s) triple their results and obtain 9 MPs. The radical left-wing and independence coalition CUP enters the Parliament with 3 MPs.

Party Review – Ciutadans (C’s), the anti-Catalan nationalism and left-wing party

November 15, 2012 11:01 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

With 3.39% of the votes in the last elections and 3 MPs in the Catalan Parliament, polls indicate that the number of Ciutadans’s MPs could double in the next elections, resulting in between 6 and 8 MPs, and forming its own parliamentary group for the first time. In its 6 years of existence, it has mainly focused on attacking the policies defending the Catalan language. Now, clearly opposed to Catalan independence and organising a self-determination referendum, C’s is lifting the banner of Spanish unity to attract voters. Ciutadans is seen by many as a populist party, with a conflict-driven speech criticising Catalonia’s political class and offering easy solutions to complex social problems.

The official campaign for the Catalan elections starts focused on the independence debate

November 9, 2012 10:56 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Elections for the Catalan Parliament, which will elect the next President of the Catalan Government, are to be held on the 25th of November. The two-week electoral campaign has started, with Catalonia’s independence as the main topic of debate, while opposition parties are trying to put the budget cuts and the recovery from the economic crisis upfront. On Thursday, minutes before midnight, political parties officially kicked off the campaign, although the race started a month and a half ago, when the Catalan President, Artur Mas, called for early elections. Surveys indicate that Mas’ party, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), will win the elections again, with improved results and close to an absolute majority. Catalonia’s political map may change with the Socialist Party likely to drop.

A calm electoral campaign ends with an absolute majority almost guaranteed for the PP

November 19, 2011 04:03 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia and the Basque Country might be the only Autonomous Communities in Spain without a victory for the People’s Party (PP). The Socialists are likely to win once again in Catalonia, but they risk loosing 40% of their seats. If they slump even further then they risk being overtaken by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) or even the PP. A quiet electoral campaign has come to an end, with three main unknown answers: if the Socialist party will get its worst results over the past few decades, if they will also lose in their stronghold of Catalonia, and how the international financial markets will react in the coming days.

FC Barcelona and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together against Polio

October 24, 2011 07:16 PM | CNA

The Fundació FC Barcelona and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have released a video to increase awareness of the disease to coincide with World Polio Day. In the video, Bill Gates, who can be seen wearing a Barça shirt, states: “no other sporting institution in the world [than FC Barcelona] shows the same passion for resolving social problems”. As part of that commitment, Barça first football team players all wore shirts bearing the words “End Polio” before last Saturday’s game at the Camp Nou.

The electoral campaign ends with squares crowded with protesters despite the Central Electoral Board’s ban

May 20, 2011 10:54 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The protests of citizens across Spain asking for a new democracy has completely captured the last few days of the electoral campaign. The Central Electoral Board ordered the protests to stop from Friday midnight, as they coincide with the reflection period and election day. The Spanish Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court are expected to give their verdict this Friday. Protesters decided to resist in a peaceful way, while politicians have asked them to abide by the law and the electoral process, but at the same time have requested understanding the protesters. Authorities and police unions have warned about the risks of removing the people from the squares and it is believed that they will not intervene unless violence occurs.