Sued parliament members defend their immunity in court

May 12, 2017 11:18 AM | ACN

Lluís Corominas and Ramona Barrufet, MPs from the liberal PDeCAT party and members of the Parliament Bureau, testified before the court this Friday in relation to the debate on independence in the Chamber that they allowed to take place. They are accused of disobedience and perversion of justice, the same crimes which Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell and two other members of the Chamber are accused of. Corominas and Barrufet appealed to the principle of parliamentary immunity which says they cannot be sued. On Monday, Forcadell and the Parliament’s first secretary, Anna Simó, used the same argument when they testified before the High Court. The last member of the Parliament Bureau to be brought before the court will be Joan Josep Nuet, an MP from the alternative left coalition ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’. He is due to testify on June 12.

Romeva at Westminster: “There is more interest in discussing the Catalan question here than in Spain”

March 15, 2017 12:32 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) created in the British Parliament was officially inaugurated this Tuesday by the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva.  “This is what we would like other parliaments, such as the Spanish, to do,” Romeva told the press before entering the Committee Room. “Sometimes, there is more interest in discussing the Catalan question here than in Spain,” he added. SNP MP and Chairman of the APPG on Catalonia, George Kerevan admitted being “surprised” by the “large amount of people” who attended the presentation, including not only MPs and Peers but also “academics and many representatives from different sectors in the United Kingdom”. He lamented that the Catalan process hasn’t even “reached the negotiations table” and gave credit to the UK, which allowed the Scottish referendum “as a good example of dialogue”.

Forcadell testifies before the court for allowing debate on independence

December 16, 2016 11:03 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, testified before the Court this Friday for having allowed a democratic debate on Catalonia’s independence in the Catalan Chamber on the 27th of July. The Spanish Constitutional Court considered illegal her decision to do so and accused her of disobedience and perversion of justice. Forcadell’s prosecution has produced a huge political and civil response not only in Catalonia but throughout many countries in Europe. The institutional support for the Parliament’s President was made clear this morning, when the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, together with the whole Catalan executive, members from radical left pro-independence CUP and alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’ joined Forcadell on her way to the Court, together with hundreds of mayors from all over the territory and former top politicians such as former Catalan President Artur Mas.

Second day of Spanish investiture debate centres on Catalonia's push for independence

October 27, 2016 07:27 PM | ACN/ Marina Force

Catalonia’s demand to hold a referendum and the imputation of several Catalan representatives were two common issues during the last part of the second day of the debate to elect a new Spanish premier. The divergence of opinions between the Catalan pro-independence forces and the Conservative People’s Party were once again evident. While the current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, denied the judicialisation of the Catalan politics and expressed his “willingness to dialogue”, despite the Catalan Government policy of “all or nothing”, the spokesman of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat), Francesc Homs, accused PP of being “the motor of the Catalan disconnection”. Mariano will have to face two more days of debate to be invested as President, as the politician will predictably lose the vote taking place this evening. 

Barcelona dismantles Franco exhibition after sculpture of dictator pulled down

October 21, 2016 02:40 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s City Hall had to dismantle the exhibition ‘Franco-Victory-Republic: impunity and urban space’after the equestrian sculpture of dictator Francisco Franco was pulled down last night. The monument, the head of which was pulled off in an act of vandalism a couple of years ago, had suffered several attacks since it was put in place before the ‘El Born’cultural centre on Monday. It was vandalised with graffiti, many offended citizens threw eggs and fruits at it and even objects such as the head of a pig were spontaneously added to the monument. According to Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, the exhibition “was a good decision” rather than a mistake because “it has generated public debate and reflection on the Francoism impunity”. The exhibition also included another Francoist sculpture, ‘Victoria’, which was withdrawn this Friday by Barcelona’s City Hall, because it didn’t make “any sense without the sculpture of the dictator”, Pisarello explained.

Pro-independence forces agree to hold a referendum by September 2017

October 5, 2016 06:46 PM | ACN

Governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and their main partner in the Parliament, radical left CUP are putting the final touches to a referendum proposal. Both pro-independence forces have agreed to hold a vote by September 2017 “at the latest” and base it on a “clear question” which could be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (to independence). Although earlier this week CUP suggested holding the referendum next July, the radical left party admitted that it is not “for them alone to decide”, CUP MP Anna Gabriel said this Wednesday in an interview with Catalan television TV3. Gabriel also insisted that the referendum will be held “regardless of the Spanish State’s refusal”. In this vein, Gabriel considered that calling a referendum agreed with the Spanish State has to be regarded as “a technique” for the international audience.  

UK experts analyse Spanish Government obstacles to Catalonia's independence

September 7, 2016 10:48 AM | Sara Prim

English and Scottish experts discussed this Tuesday the obstacles that Catalonia keeps facing in deciding its political future. University of Glasgow Professor, Neil Davidson, Researcher on Catalonia and ‘The Guardian’ Blogger, Luke Stobart, and the Chair of the Scottish National Party (SNP) ‘Friends of Catalonia’, David McDonald, took part in the debate, organised by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) in England within the framework of ‘Catalan Week’, a set of political and cultural events to explain Catalonia’s pro-independence process to the international audience. ‘Catalan Week’ in London will continue to organise activities throughout the week until Sunday, coinciding with Catalonia’s National Day celebrations in Farringdon.

European institutions debate Catalonia’s process at Swedish political fest

July 11, 2016 03:06 PM | ACN

For the first time ever, Catalonia took part in Almedalsveckan, a political festival with more than 50 years of tradition held annually on the Swedish island of Gotland. The Europahuset, which gathers together representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission in Sweden, invited the Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), Albert Royo and the Catalan Government’s General Director of Foreign Affairs, Maria Badia to discuss the challenges that Catalonia’s political process represents for the EU. Royo emphasised how the Spanish Government failed to respond to Catalonia’s demands in relation to a vote on independence. For her part, Badia relied on the EU’s pragmatism and predicted that it “will find the way to embrace Catalonia when the moment arises”.

Pedro Sánchez rejected again by the Spanish Parliament

March 4, 2016 09:36 PM | ACN

Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez was rejected again this Friday by the Spanish Parliament. The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE)’s candidate to form a new government in Spain got only 131 votes in favour, from the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. As opposed to in the first round of the investiture debate, the MP from the Canarian Coalition (CC) voted in favour of Sánchez rather than abstaining. The other parties in the Spanish Parliament, the current governing party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), alternative left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ voted against his investiture, totalling 219 votes. Now it will be time for Spain’s King, Philip VII, to decide the further steps to be taken. 

Spanish Parliament says ‘no’ to Pedro Sánchez’s investiture

March 2, 2016 07:27 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Spanish Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has failed in his effort to be invested in the first round of the Spanish Investiture debate. He only obtained the support 130 MPs in the 350-seats Spanish Parliament. The 90 MPs from Sánchez’s own party, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and the 40 from Unionist Ciutadans voted in favour, the MP from Canary Coalition (CC) abstained from voting and all the other parties, including the current governing party, conservative People’s Party, alternative left Podemos and Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ voted against his investiture. The next round in voting will take place on Friday. During the investiture debate, Sánchez invited PP and Podemos to join his alliance with Ciutadans and assured that he will “never” accept a referendum in Catalonia as it would be “the worst way” to break Spain apart. For his part, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont stated that Sánchez’s failure confirms that there is no alternatSive for Catalonia other than to push for independence.

Pedro Sánchez calls for “a majoritarian agreement” in the first round of the Spanish investiture debate

March 1, 2016 08:10 PM | ACN

Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez opened this Tuesday the first round of the investiture debate to instate a new Spanish President. During his speech, Sánchez assured that to make “the change” possible it is necessary to reach “a majoritarian agreement” and “leave Mr. Rajoy’s and the People’s Party’s politics behind”. The candidate to form government also stressed that PSOE “doesn’t aim to impose anything and has no red lines” in reference to alternative left Podemos, which has refused to support the agreement reached by PSOE and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans. Sánchez is far from the 176 votes required to be invested on Wednesday, as he has only secured the 90 votes of his own party, 40 from Ciutadans and 1 from the Canary Coalition (CC).

Carles Puigdemont instated as the new Catalan President

January 10, 2016 09:51 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) president and mayor of Girona city Carles Puigdemont has been instated as Catalan President number 130 by an absolute majority of the Parliament. Puigdemont, a member of cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ proposed by current Catalan President Artur Mas, obtained 70 votes in favour, 63 against and 2 abstentions. The investiture debate took place this Sunday after a last-minute agreement between pro-independence forces ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and CUP and just before all the legal deadlines were due to expire and new elections would have had to been called in Catalonia.

Catalonia's push for independence should be regarded as a "peaceful and democratic" example

December 10, 2015 07:24 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

International experts from different fields debated on independence processes in the EU at the conference "Self-determination Processes: Challenge or Opportunity for the EU?" organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Centre for European Studies of Jagiellonian University in Krakow. According to DIPLOCAT's Secretary General, Albert Royo, the Catalan process is a "unique opportunity for the EU" to show that a "territorial conflict could be solved in a peaceful and democratic way". Professor of History at Pompeu Fabra University Fernando Guirao added that it would be “absurd” to talk about an automatic expulsion from the EU and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe Michal Natorski noted that "all secession processes are negotiated and finally accepted if they come to terms in a democratic way". Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to Austria, Adam Casals, also attended the conference.