Catalan poet shortlisted for prestigious Canadian poetry prize
Gemma Gorga one of seven nominees for generous international award
Gemma Gorga one of seven nominees for generous international award
Nine southern African countries moved from 'high risk' to 'risk' category
Superstar comes together with Barenaked Ladies and Sofia Reyes for rendition of Catalan band's song
Latest movies by Abel Ferrara, Kevin Smith, Harmony Korine and Denis Côté top the billing at the festival's seventh edition
In an open letter, former president expresses "concern" that authorities in Ottawa see self-determination as a "crime"
Canadian Prime Minister stresses the importance of self-determination in his country
The Port of Barcelona has been opening new regular routes for container transportation in the last few months, improving the connections with strategic markets in the Americas, Asia, West Africa and the Mediterranean area. An example of this trend is the new route served by MNM African Shipping Line, a company founded this year based in the port of Tanger-Med and working for transport and logistics firms from Morocco and Nigeria. This new line will be using vessels with a 2,500 TEU container capacity to connect the Catalan capital with major ports in North and West Africa such as Tangier, Casablanca, Agadir, Nouakchott, Dakar, Conakry, Lagos, Tema and Abidjan, covering an area with some 300 million people.
The Catalan Government was one of 14 regional executives to sign the 'Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding' in May 2015 as part of a pact to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95% by 2050 among the signing territories. This goal is an effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change coming from greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the Catalan Government has been working toward improving energy efficiency and developing a greater supply of renewable energy through various initiatives and action plans. However, the biggest changes necessary for Catalonia to adopt the renewable, low-emissions energy model it desires cannot be implemented by the Catalan Government, but would have to come from the Spanish Government instead. Overall, the biggest challenge facing the adoption of renewable energy is being able to produce it at prices competitive with conventional sources of power.
On Tuesday, ahead of the United Nations conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris this autumn, Catalonia signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in Sacramento (California), together with 11 other US states, Mexican states, Canadian provinces and regional governments. By taking this step, the Catalan Government and the other signatories commit to cut total greenhouse emissions to 80%-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 or to cut per capita emissions to below 2 metric tons during the same timeframe. The 12 founding signatories to the agreement span seven countries and three continents, with a total population of 100 million people and about $4.5 trillion in combined GDP. Apart from Catalonia, the signatories include: California, Vermont, Oregon and Washington (USA); Acre (Brazil); Baden-Württemberg (Germany); Baja California and Jalisco (Mexico); Ontario and British Columbia (Canada); and Wales (UK). More states, nations and cities are expected to join the agreement in the coming months.
Air Canada announced on Thursday that it will be linking Barcelona El Prat and Toronto Pearson airports all year round, expanding its activities in the winter season. The Canadian airline currently offers seasonal flights connecting the two cities on a daily basis, only available in summer. As from 1 November 2015, it will also offer 3 non-stop flights per week in each direction - on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays – served by a Boeing 767 aircraft. The flights connecting Barcelona to Montreal will remain seasonal (only during the summer) for the time being. Santi Vila, Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, has hailed Air Canada's announcement as "excellent news", which will foster the competitiveness of Barcelona El Prat Airport, increasing its intercontinental services, which will be added to a vast network of short- and medium-distance flights.
Indignation at the Castor Project has increased due to the €1.35 billion payment issued by the Spanish Government to Escal UGS, the company behind the controversial offshore gas platform. The amount will be charged through gas bills to consumers over the next 30 years, starting on April 2016, making individual citizens pay the private-business bailout, partially funded through €1.4 billion worth of bonds from the European Union. This business project failed after a gas injection caused almost 1,000 small earthquakes in Southern Catalonia and northern Valencia. The Spanish Executive has been forced to compensate the company due to clause 14 of the 2008 Royal Decree, according to which the state would pay for the bailout in the event of the project failing to come to completion.
The Catalan fashion multinational Desigual will be strengthening its presence in the Americas over the coming months. In 2015 it will be entering new markets, with the opening of its first three stores in Mexico and three in Montreal, Canada. Its entry into the Aztec country will be made through a franchise, alongside the company El Palacio del Hierro (the Iron Palace) which owns luxury boutiques in Mexico, a market considered a “priority” by Desigual. Thanks to this cooperation, Desigual clothes will be sold in almost 30 different department stores throughout Mexico. In addition the Catalan brand will open its own boutiques in Andares in Guadalajara, Antea in Querétano and in Mexico City. Moreover, Desigual has also committed to strengthening its presence in the US before the end of 2015, with the opening of two new stores, one in Miami and the other in Las Vegas.
More than 200 elected members of the European, Spanish and Catalan Parliaments and municipal councils from Catalonia have presented and started to sign on Wednesday an international complaint against the Spanish Government that will be sent to the United Nations, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). They are formally accusing the Spanish Government of "violating the right of the Catalan people to decide on its own political future" and "banning the exercise of democracy ". They list reasons of democratic legitimacy, stress the sustained self-determination demands and highlight the manifold Catalan attempts to negotiate and hold a legal vote. They also emphasise the Spanish Government's total blocking attitude and they announce that Catalan representatives "feel legitimate to launch all the necessary political and legal actions". Finally, they also ask those international organisations to act in order "to guarantee that Catalonia's citizenry can democratically decide on its future".