catalan politics

Party Review – Solidaritat (SI), the radical Catalan independence party

November 16, 2012 11:32 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Solidaritat per la Indepedència (SI) started in 2010, defending a fast track towards independence and profiting from the crisis of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC). SI grew around the magnetic Joan Laporta, former President of FC Barcelona. In 2010, they obtained 3.29% of the votes and 4 MPs in the Catalan Parliament. Laporta quit the party and Alfons López Tena is the current candidate for Catalan President. With a demagogical speech, they have exclusively focused on asking for a unilateral independence declaration. Now, SI faces the challenge of remaining in the Parliament, when the traditional Catalan nationalist parties are also supporting independence. According to the polls, SI is not likely to have enough votes to stay in the Parliament.

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 Catalan Socialists propose an “asymmetrical federalism” for Spain

September 18, 2012 01:41 PM | CNA / Rafa Garrido / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) is against independence but supports claims for greater self-government and fiscal autonomy for Catalonia. The PSC’s Secretary General, Pere Navarro, proposes a “preferential bilateral relationship” between Catalonia and the Spanish Government, within an “asymmetrical” federal Spain. However, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which is formed by federated territorial parties such as the PSC, seems to evade the question, at least for the time being. The PSOE’s Secretary General visited Catalonia for the first time after the 1.5 million strong demonstration for independence and did not mention the word “federalism” a single time.

The Catalan Socialists decide their future in the party congress

December 16, 2011 10:33 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) is holding its 12th congress to renew its leadership and discuss its entire political project. After having lost the last elections, the Catalan Government and many town halls throughout Catalonia, the PSC feels detached from the majority of voters with many believing that it has lost its way regards it political project. Its attachment to social-democratic values, its connection with the Catalan municipalities, its defence of Catalan interests in Madrid, and the relationship with the Spanish Socialists are the main issues. Three mayors announced their candidacy to lead the party, which means that a synthesis looks more likely than a full renovation.

Centre-Right Catalan Nationalism (CiU) wins Barcelona and Girona for the first time in democractic times

May 23, 2011 12:13 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

'Convergència i Unió' (CiU) increases its vote share across Catalonia and becomes the leading party in number of votes. The large victory backs the Catalan Government’s controversial austerity measures. The Catalan Government and Barcelona City Council will be run by the same party, CiU. The Catalan Socialist Party loses large cities and 22% of its votes across the country. The People’s Party becomes the third party and wins in Badalona with a discourse focused on illegal immigration. ERC loses around a third of its votes but other pro Catalan independence parties gain support. The xenophobic and extreme right PxC remains marginal but increases its base and enters the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. The turnout was 55%, one point higher than in 2007. The null or spoilt vote multiplied its share by three but remains marginal.

The campaign for the municipal elections kicks off with polls indicating CiU winning in Barcelona

May 7, 2011 01:58 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

On May 22nd, Catalans will vote in their local elections. According to the recent polls the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) is well positioned to win in many cities, towns and villages across Catalonia, and in particular in Barcelona. CiU’s candidate may become the next Mayor of Barcelona after 32 years of Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) leadership. The same change could happen in Girona, where polls indicate a tie. However it seems the PSC will maintain control of Lleida and Tarragona City Councils. The People’s Party (PP) speech is of major significance with their focus being on immigration and security.

Francesc Homs: from the party’s ‘bone’ to the Government’s ‘bone’

December 31, 2010 03:16 PM | CNA

Francesc Homs is Artur Mas’ right-hand man in the CiU leadership and the director of the last elections’ programme. Homs is the CiU’s policy developer and now he will coordinate the new Catalan Government. Homs will continue being Mas’ closest collaborator. He will assist him in defining the Government’s main policies and he will push for action. In addition, he will directly control sensitive areas and will be the Government’s spokesperson.

Germà Gordó: the right-hand man in the shadow

December 31, 2010 03:02 PM | CNA

The new Secretary of the Government was the party’s CFO and one of Artur Mas’ most trusted collaborators. As his duties were internal, Gordó was not a well-known figure. However, his role in the party was essential, as it will in the new Government. Gordó will remain somewhat in the shadows, as his new responsibility is to ensure the Government’s functionality. He will be in charge of preparing Government meetings and ensuring that decisions are implemented. He will also directly manage some concrete services, such as the Government’s offices across Catalonia and abroad.

Josep Lluís Cleries: from managing scouts and volunteers to Social Welfare and Family policies

December 30, 2010 11:24 PM | CNA

The new Catalan Minister for Social Welfare and Family was the CiU’s representative in the Catalan Parliament for this portfolio for the seven years in which the CiU was in the opposition. He comes from the scout and volunteering world, in which he has been very active over the last 40 years. He also worked with the Catalan Government in secondary positions in Jordi Pujol’s times.

Irene Rigau: a veteran politician and teacher in charge of Education

December 30, 2010 11:00 PM | CNA

The new Catalan Minister for Education was the CiU’s manager of this portfolio for seven years, while the party was not in power. She has experience, both as a primary school and university teacher. Over the last 30 years, she has held several positions in politics, mainly working on education issues, with the exception of the period in which she was the Catalan Minister for Social Welfare and Family (1999-2003).

Ferran Mascarell: Socialist returns to the Ministry he headed 4 years ago

December 30, 2010 10:51 PM | CNA / Júlia Pérez

Artur Mas hired one of his former political adversaries for the top position at the Ministry of Culture. Ferran Mascarell also held this position in 2006, in the left-wing government coalition. Now, he comes back with a centre-right executive. Mascarell has extensive experience in cultural management, in the public and private sectors. He had a successful career in the Barcelona City Council and he was recently on the board of the RBA Editorial House, in charge of audiovisual products.

Josep Maria Pelegrí: the Secretary General of the Christian Democrats now in charge of Agriculture, Fishing and Biodiversity

December 30, 2010 10:38 PM | CNA

Pelegrí has already been a Minister of the Catalan Government, but for Public Administration (2002-2003). Now, Pelegrí becomes the new Catalan Minister for Agriculture, Stockbreeding, Fishing and Environment. In his early years in politics, in the 1990s, he worked on environmental issues. He is discrete and loyal to the Christian Democrat leader, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida.