Catalan nationalists discuss the final points to reach a stable parliamentary agreement

December 15, 2012 03:42 PM | CNA

Holding the self-determination referendum before 2015 and certain aspects of the fiscal policy are the final obstacles to a definitive agreement between the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) – which won the elections but lost support – and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) – which is the second largest party now, having doubled its support. After two and half weeks of negotiations, the ERC will vote for the CiU leader, Artur Mas, to be re-elected as President of the Catalan Government. However, the ERC’s stable parliamentary support – since it will not directly be part of the Cabinet – is not granted yet. Party leaders met on Friday to seal the agreement, but differences persist and the date for the re-election debate is approaching.

Agreement in Catalonia to stand by the Catalan school model despite the Spanish Government’s reform

December 12, 2012 11:36 PM | CNA

The parties supporting the current school model, representing 80% of the new Catalan Parliament, and Catalonia’s School Council – with all the stakeholders – have met to decide upon a consensual answer to the Spanish Government’s Education Reform relegating the Catalan language and centralising competence. The meeting ended with a consensual decision to stick to the current Catalan Education Law if the Spanish Executive does not change the spirit of its reform and continues to insist on breaking up the school model that has been in place for more than 30 years. Cancelling the linguistic immersion model would mean splitting Catalan society into two language communities, which is absolutely not acceptable to the wide majority of Catalans. The current model has been validated twice by the Spanish Constitutional Court and is based on Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy which was approved via referendum.

Mas envisages a minority government if the ERC offers “maximum stability” in Parliament

November 30, 2012 11:19 PM | CNA

The leader of the CiU and Catalan President, Artur Mas, has urged the left-wing ERC to guarantee that he is able lead a “strong, stable and serious” government even if they don’t form a coalition. In his first press conference as President since the electoral results, Mas also asked Spain to see the recent electoral results as a sign that the Catalan society is ready for a referendum. Mas asked Mariano Rajoy’s government to consider its position on Catalonia’s right to self-determination, currently forbidden by the Spanish constitution. Despite losing 12 seats on Sunday, Mas pointed out that the Spanish unionists “only have 28 out of 135 seats” in the Catalan Parliament.

The CiU has not ruled out a coalition yet despite ERC comments

November 29, 2012 11:52 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government spokesman, Francesc Homs, hopes ERC opposition to forming a coalition is not a definitive stance and that negotiations may yet be successful. The ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, said on Wednesday that he plans to stay in opposition while offering parliamentary support to the CiU on key issues such as the budget and the independence referendum. His deputy, Marta Rovira, repeated his comments on Thursday. Meanwhile, Junqueras met with the leader of the ICV-EUiA, Joan Herrera, who advised him it will be very difficult to “change the economical policies” of the CiU and urged him to participate in a “left-wing alternative”. The leader of the Socialists, Pere Navarro, cancelled a meeting with the CiU’s Artur Mas due to “diary issues”.

The pro-independence ERC will guarantee its support on key issues but will not enter the Catalan Government

November 28, 2012 10:52 PM | CNA

The leader of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), Oriol Junqueras, has confirmed to the incumbent President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, that they do not want to sit in the Catalan Executive. However, Junqueras guaranteed Mas ERC’s support for approving the main issues, such as Mas’ re-election as President, next year’s budget and the self-determination referendum. In fact, this last point is the ERC’s main condition for the agreement. The CiU had been insisting on the need to make a stable pact with either the ERC or the PSC, after last Sunday’s electoral results, which would include sharing the government responsibilities in such difficult economic times.

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) will not give up organising an independence referendum

November 26, 2012 11:41 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The CiU leader and incumbent President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated that they will start negotiations with the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) to set up a stable pact. The ERC, which is now the second-largest party in the Catalan Parliament, said it would not sit in the Government but they will offer stable parliamentary support if the CiU does not abandon the self-determination agenda. Besides, the PSC stated it would not give its support to Mas as their “job is to build an alternative”. On Sunday, the CiU won the elections but lost 90,000 votes and 12 MPs. However, the parties defending the organisation of a self-determination referendum within the next four years had 345,000 more votes. The parties defending the unity of Spain had 201,000 more votes but lost 1 MP.

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.

Pro-independence parties would clearly win the Catalan elections but the governing CiU would lose support

November 25, 2012 10:11 PM | CNA

According to the exit polls, the parties supporting independence would obtain between 58% and 64% of the seats in the Catalan Parliament in the elections with the highest voter turnout ever. The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) would win the elections again but it might lose some support, falling far short of an absolute majority. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) would double its results, becoming the second largest force in the Parliament for the first time ever. Support for the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) would plummet and it could lose 40% of its seats. The People’s Party (PP) might stagnate or even lose 2 seats. The Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) might stagnate or increase by 2 seats. The anti-Catalan nationalist party could double its results but will probably remain a small party. The radical left-wing and pro-independence CUP could enter the Parliament.

Catalans vote on Sunday focusing on the independence process after a tense campaign

November 24, 2012 12:04 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Nobody doubts that the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) will win the elections again, but it is not clear if it will obtain an absolute majority or even lose some MPs. However, these elections are not so much about parties but they have de facto turned into a plebiscite on the Catalan peoples’ right to self-determination and the organisation of an independence referendum. If the parties defending the organisation of a self-determination referendum and independence clearly win the elections as expected, Spain would face its deepest political crisis of the last three decades. Knowing this, the campaign has been the tensest ever, including dirty tricks being played by Spanish nationalists against the CiU. However, many citizens will also vote while thinking about the last two years of budget cuts. Thus, left-wing parties supporting independence are likely to get more support.

Party Review – the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) might be the second largest party

November 19, 2012 09:56 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

ERC, now led by Oriol Junqueras, is facing the next Catalan elections aware they will significantly increase their number of MPs and knowing that they are likely to play an essential role in Catalonia’s politics in the next term. After renovating their leadership and with a moderately-pitched speech, ERC might increase the current 10 MPs – which was their worst result in 20 years – to 16 or even 19 MPs, according to the latest polls. Furthermore, depending on the results obtained by the pro-Spain unity parties PSC and PP, ERC might become the second largest group in the Catalan Parliament. In any case, as they are the party that historically supports Catalonia’s independence, ERC will offer its support to the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) to organise a self-determination referendum.

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.

Support for Catalonia’s independence grows and polls say pro-independence parties would win the next elections

November 8, 2012 06:37 PM | CNA

Just before the Catalan election campaign kicks off, the survey centres run by the Spanish and the Catalan governments have both issued their own polls. 57% of Catalans would vote for independence in a referendum, according to the Catalan survey. In June the percentage was 51%. The Spanish survey did not include the question. Both polls agree that the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) – currently running the Catalan Government – would gain more votes, close to obtaining an absolute majority. The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is against independence and already obtained its worst results ever in 2010, would lose between 30% and 45% of MPs. The People’s Party (PP) would obtain similar results, but might become the party in second place. The Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) would increase its representation by 40% to 70% and might become the third party.

Catalan Euro MPs ask the EU to intervene if there is “a clear risk” of a military threat against Catalonia

October 23, 2012 01:17 AM | CNA

They say that European legislation foresees the cancellation of the voting rights of an EU Member State if there is “a clear risk of serious […] and persistent breach” of the common values. The four MEPs denounce “the military threats” and “the tone used by the People’s Party and the Spanish Government”. They have sent a formal letter to the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding. They ask the EU to be vigilant and “to evaluate the real risks of a potential military intervention” by Spanish forces against Catalonia. If such a risk existed, the EU should suspend Spain’s voting rights in the European Council.

74% of Catalan citizens are in favour of holding an independence referendum in Catalonia

October 11, 2012 01:29 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

A poll taken by the Catalan Survey Institute points out that only 19.9% of Catalans would be against organising a referendum asking if Catalonia should be a new independent European state. 6% would be undecided. The poll also reflects electoral preferences in the next Catalan elections, scheduled on 25th November. 26.3% of citizens would vote for the ruling Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which would clearly win the elections. However, those undecided represent 34.6% of the people interviewed. The votes for the main opposition party in Catalonia, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), would plummet to only 3.1%. The parties clearly supporting the self-determination (CiU, ERC and ICV-EUiA) would become Catalonia’s first, second and third parties.