All parties in Catalonia, except the PP, are against the Spanish Government’s Budget for 2012

April 5, 2012 12:19 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

CiU stated that it will be “absurd” that they support the current budget proposal in the Spanish Parliament although they are open to negotiate and modify it. Furthermore, CiU “does not rule out the possibility of taking the Spanish Government to court” for ignoring the current legislation. The Socialists directly considered the budget proposal “to mistreat Catalonia”. The Green Socialists ask for a “common Catalan front” against the budget. The Catalan Independence parties (ERC and SI) say the budget plunders Catalonia. The anti-Catalan nationalists stated the budget wants to please Merkel. The only party supporting the budget was the PP, which runs the Spanish Government.

General Strike: irregular support, massive demonstrations, isolated violence and no changes in the Labour Reform Law

March 30, 2012 04:38 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The General Strike on March 29th ended without significant changes in the Spanish Government’s Labour Reform, but with a clear acknowledgement that there is growing social anger. The strike was unevenly supported in Catalonia. Unions talked about sector strike participation ranging between 97% and 57% and the Catalan Government about strike participations ranging between 24% and 10%. Minimum services worked as planned, without any significant incidents. Demonstrations took place in the main Catalan cities, with the largest in Barcelona. Isolated violent incidents were the only negative parts of what was a relatively calm day.

Catalan President announces a 5% cut in public salaries to meet 2012 deficit targets

March 12, 2012 11:46 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government had already approved a 3% reduction of public salaries during the current year, which will now be increased to 5%. However, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, explained that the measure would be cancelled if the Spanish Government approved a similar reduction, in order not to harm public employees with two salary reductions. The People’s Party supports Mas but the Left-Wing opposition parties have criticised the measure and have said that there are other ways to reduce the deficit. Mas demanded that the Spanish Government include the funds it legally owes Catalonia in its budget for 2012 which would avoid further cutbacks.

The first stolen Spanish Civil War documents are returned to their legitimate owners 73 years later

February 20, 2012 11:49 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In 1939, Franco’s troops entered Catalonia and plundered most of the official documents of the Catalan Government, institutions, political parties, trade unions, and cultural organisations. In addition, they also took personal documents belonging to Catalan personalities. In total more than 300,000 documents were sent to an archive in Salamanca. They were processed and the information they contained used by the Fascist regime’s repression in the post-war years. The documents are known as the ‘Salamanca Papers’. The Spanish Government ordered the return of some of the ‘Salamanca Papers’ in 1995, but political opposition has delayed the process until now. There are still around 300 boxes of documents in Salamanca.

The Catalan Parliament approves the 2012 budget with the abstention of the People’s Party

February 15, 2012 11:00 PM | CNA

As agreed, the PP abstained during the vote on the Catalan Government’s budget for 2012. The final text was approved with the 62 votes from CiU MPs, which controls the Catalan Government, the one vote from an independent MP, and the abstention of the PP. The rest of the parties have voted against it, in a tense plenary that has formalised the distance between the Government and the Left-Wing opposition parties. The details of some of the budget’s measures will have to be approved in one month, because three minority parties have asked for a “constitutionality” check.

The privatisation of Barcelona El Prat and Madrid Barajas airports halted by the new Spanish Government

January 23, 2012 11:10 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The participation of the Catalan business community and local governments in the management of Barcelona’s Airport has been halted. This has been a long-term claim by many in Catalonia, as they believe that the centralised management of the airports has clearly benefited Madrid over Barcelona. The new Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport announced the decision to cancel the tender process to privatise the management of Spain’s two main airports, Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat. The reasons for the decision have been put down to a negative time for the markets and a desire for the value of the assets to increase in the future.

Barriers are lifted for an agreement with the People’s Party to approve the Catalan Government’s budget

January 17, 2012 12:00 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The People’s Party (PP) has taken back its parliamentary motions against the Catalan Government’s Budget proposal. The Government is run by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU). The PP’s leader in Catalonia has warned CiU that “it does not represent a blank cheque” and that “sensible” negotiations need to take place in order for a final agreement to be reached. The PP has already backed the Catalan Government to approve its budget for 2011. The rest of the opposition parties regret that an agreement between CiU-PP has taken place.

The Catalan Government is studying legal options to oblige the Spanish Government to pay the money it owes them

December 7, 2011 10:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Government refuses to transfer some of the funds that it is legally obliged to pay Catalonia in 2011. Without this money, the Catalan Government will have difficulties meeting the deficit objective for this year. The Catalan Minister for Finance, Andreu Mas-Colell, considers the stance of the Zapatero Government to be “rude” and ignorant to the needs of Catalonia. Furthermore it forces the finances of Catalonia to be put in the spotlight. Every single Catalan political group, including the Socialists and the People’s Party, have criticised the decision of the soon to be former Spanish Prime Minister, and have expressed their support for Mas-Colell.

The PP wins practically all over Spain with the exception of Catalonia and the Basque Country

November 21, 2011 02:47 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The conservative People’s Party (PP) has won the Spanish General Election with an absolute majority. The PP obtained 186 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament, its best ever result. The Socialist Party (PSOE), who are the current Spanish Government, obtained the worst results in its history, winning just 110 MPs. In Catalonia, another historical change has taken place: the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU) have won in the Spanish elections for the first time. The Socialists lose 44% of their MPs in Catalonia, and their main candidate Carme Chacón, is in a bad position to lead the PSOE after Zapatero. The PP continues as Catalonia’s third party, despite an improvement in its results.

The People’s Party would win the Spanish General Elections with an absolute majority, according to the exit polls

November 20, 2011 09:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia is the only autonomous community where the Socialist Party has clearly won, but has lost around 35% of its MPs, according to the exit poll released by TV3. The People’s Party (PP) will remain Catalonia’s third biggest force, behind the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU), who will increase their share by some 40%. The exit polls released at 20.00 CET, when the polls closed, indicate an absolute majority for the PP and an historical defeat for the Socialists throughout Spain. The PP will get between 181 and 185 MPs, when the absolute majority is 176 seats. The election day has been calm, with a lower turnout than in the 2008 elections, particularly in Catalonia.

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.

The last polls before the Spanish elections confirm the People’s Party absolute majority

November 14, 2011 09:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In Catalonia, the PP would get its best results in history, and could become the second most voted party in the territory, a position disputed with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). The Socialist Party, which has won the Spanish elections in Catalonia for the last 32 years, might still win, but it will be a close battle with the CiU and the PP. A major surprise in Catalonia cannot be completely ruled out. In any case, on the contrary to previous elections and as it seemed some weeks ago, votes in Catalonia might not change the final results and the PP’s absolute majority would not depend on its Catalan supports.

The main Catalan candidates for the Spanish elections

November 8, 2011 02:08 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Next November 20th, Spaniards will vote for the new Spanish Parliament. They will elect one of the lists running in their province, which is their constituency. Catalans will thus elect the lists running in the four Catalan provinces. Therefore, they will not directly elect Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (PSOE) or Mariano Rajoy (PP), but their party candidates in Catalonia, as well as parties only running in Catalonia, such as the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) or the Catalan Green Socialist Coalition (ICV-EUiA).

Spain’s official electoral campaign kicks off with Catalonia in the spotlight

November 4, 2011 12:05 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

According to polls, Catalonia might be essential to ensure the absolute majority to the People’s Party (PP) or to save the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) from getting its worst results ever. The Socialists risk loosing more than a third of its seats in Catalonia while the PP, far from winning in Catalonia, could get its best results. Catalan nationalists ‘Convergència i Unió’, who are the third largest group in the Spanish Parliament, could win the elections in Catalonia, ending the ten Socialist Party victories in a row in these elections.

Catalan parties and Government believe ETA’s announcement is “the beginning of the end”

October 21, 2011 12:39 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government, from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist coalition CiU considered the statement “an important step” and stressed that they “are hoping for the terrorist group's total break up and the total abandonment of its weapons”. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party, ERC, asked the Spanish Government to quit its “ivory tower”, “as the United Kingdom did”, and “let the Basque and the Catalan peoples decide their future”. However, the Catalan Association of Terrorist Victims has criticised ETA’s announcement and said that it only hopes for ETA’s disappearance, but other individual victims have celebrated the news. ETA has killed more than 800 people, 50 of them in Catalonia.