Extreme-right organisation sues President of main pro-independence grass-roots organisation

August 21, 2014 07:13 PM | ACN

Manos Limpias, an extreme-right and Spanish nationalist trade union, will file a judicial complaint against Carme Forcadell, President of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the grass-roots NGO that is organising the main campaign for independence from Spain. The far-right organisation will sue Forcadell for "provoking sedition", as they consider she is "the driving force" and "the leader of Catalan civil society", and the main promoter of "a road map" towards independence. In addition, Manos Limpias' Secretary General, Miguel Bernad, said they have "data" showing that "the consultation vote will take place" on the 9th of November, even if the Spanish authorities ban it. The extreme-right organisation does not rule out the possibility of presenting similar complaints against the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the President of the left-wing independence party ERC, Oriol Junqueras.

Extreme-right organisation files a complaint against former Catalan President Jordi Pujol for corruption

August 13, 2014 10:01 PM | ACN

Manos Limpias, a Spanish far-right nationalist trade union, has finally filed a judicial complaint for corruption against the historical leader of Catalan nationalism and President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003, Jordi Pujol, and his wife, Marta Ferrussola. For the last two years, there has been increasing news that allegedly link Pujol's sons to illegal businesses and hidden fortunes. On top of this, two weeks ago, Pujol confessed that his family had been hiding money from the tax authorities for 35 years. This immediately provoked a political earthquake since Pujol is an essential figure in Catalonia's and Spain's contemporary history: he worked to expand Catalonia's autonomy within Spain but in the last two years he started to support independence. Spanish nationalist forces believe that Pujol's fall will have a fatal effect on the self-determination process. However, there are also many rumours stating that the  Spanish authorities might have been protecting Pujol for decades since he was against independence.

Rajoy doesn't offer an alternative and Catalan President will call self-determination vote anyway

July 30, 2014 09:29 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, finally met this Wednesday in Madrid to talk about the self-determination process and also about economic, social and institutional issues. Mas told Rajoy that a majority of the Catalan Parliament plans to hold a self-determination vote on the 9th of November and they want to do it "reaching an agreement with the Spanish Government and within the legal framework". However, if Rajoy rejects negotiating such an agreement, Mas will use the Catalan legal framework to organise a legal vote. Rajoy emphasised that the consultation vote "is not legal and will not be legal" and therefore "will not take place". However, the Spanish PM did not present any alternatives to modify the current status quo. Besides, Mas presented Rajoy with a document with 23 issues not related to self-determination, such as Catalonia's under-budgeted public services, pending infrastructure works, and the Education Reform.

Extreme-right group Manos Limpias fuels a judicial battle against Catalonia's self-determination

March 25, 2014 10:05 PM | ACN

The far right trade union Manos Limpias has filed a complaint against the citizen association that organised the two massive independence demonstrations on the 11th September 2012 and 2013: the National Assembly of Catalonia (ANC). On Monday evening the Spanish nationalist organisation accused the ANC of fostering "insurrection" for having issued a road map proposing to declare independence on the 23rd April 2015 if the Spanish Government did not allow a self-determination vote. Furthermore, in February the extreme-right group had filed a first complaint against the Catalan President, Artur Mas, for "sedition" and "rebellion". On Tuesday, after a preliminary analysis, Catalonia's Supreme Court (TSJC) dismissed the complaint, emphasising the political nature of Mas' statements and actions. Manos Limpias announced that it will appeal the decision, saying that the TSJC is "contaminated" by Catalan nationalism.

Judges supporting Catalonia’s self-determination denounce disclosure of their personal profiles

March 5, 2014 09:01 PM | ACN

The 33 judges who signed the manifesto in favour of Catalonia’s right to self-determination, stating that it “is a nation without discussion”, and therefore has “full sovereignty to decide on its own future”, have filed a complaint after photos of their personal profiles were published in a Madrid-based newspaper on Monday. The complaint was filed for revealing personal information, arguing that such pictures can only have been accessed from computers used by the Spanish Police or the Spanish Ministry of Home Affairs. Therefore, the judges have asked to open an investigation to find out who divulged such confidential information.

Extreme right organisation files a criminal complaint against Catalan President for sedition and rebellion

February 20, 2014 10:36 PM | ACN

Manos Limpias, a Spanish extreme right-wing organisation, presented on Wednesday before Catalonia’ Hight Court (TSJC) a criminal complaint against the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, for the charges of perverting the course of justice, disobeying judicial authority, rebellion and sedition. According to the plaintiffs, the Catalan President is using all means available to achieve Catalonia’s independence. The far-right union mentions the creation of new ‘state structures’, disobeying the Constitutional Court by giving statements that point towards holding a self-determination vote and violating the Spanish Constitution. In the complaint, Manos Limpias is demanding Mas to be interrogated as a suspect while several Catalan politicians would be witnesses.

European Parliament Vice-president quits People’s Party and joins ultra-nationalist force

January 27, 2014 07:13 PM | ACN

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-president of the European Parliament and famous for his strong Spanish nationalist stances, has quitted the People’s Party (PP) after 30 years of membership. Vidal-Quadras has joined the newly-created VOX party, a populist ultra-nationalist force defending a total recentralisation of Spain. The Europarliament’s VP criticises the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy’s “diagnosis” and “solutions” for the “economic, institutional, moral and national unity” crisis the country is going through. However, after 15 years of being Euro MP for the PP, a few weeks ago it was revealed that the party did not want him on the list for the next European elections. Vidal-Quadras might lead VOX in the next electoral race.

Chairman of the European Social-Democrats: Catalonia “cannot create new conflicts” and “expect everybody to accept them within the EU”

October 30, 2013 03:53 PM | ACN

Hannes Swoboda, Chairman of the Social-Democrat Group at the European Parliament, highlighted “the necessity to stick together, to solve the problems together in Spain”. The Austrian politician rejected what he sees as the Catalan attitude: “we are richer and we are leaving Spain”. “That is not a solution for the Spanish and European problems” he warned. In addition, he stated that Catalans “have to know” that “if they go independent without the agreement of the national government they are no longer in the European Union”. The veteran MEP asked Catalans to be “realistic” and “to fight for the improvement of living conditions and not for the destruction of what we have achieved over the last decades”.

Large demonstration in Barcelona organised by Spain’s unity supporters, but smaller than the independence march

October 12, 2013 09:47 PM | ACN

On Saturday, Spain’s National Day, those opposing Catalan independence and defending Spain’s unity organised a large-scale demonstration in Barcelona. In absolute terms, the demonstration was far from gathering as many people as the Catalan independence demonstration a month ago or that of 2012. However, it was still a massive concentration of people, gathering around 30,000 people according to the local police, 105,000 according to the Spanish Government and 160,000 according to the organisers. The People’s Party and the anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s) attended the demonstration. The organisers had been received on Thursday by the Presidents of the Catalan Government and Parliament.

Extreme right-wing group attacks the Catalan Government delegation in Madrid

September 11, 2013 11:34 PM | ACN

This Wednesday, an extreme right-wing Spanish nationalist group interrupted the institutional celebration of Catalonia’s National Day at the Catalan Government delegation in Madrid. The Fascist group assaulted the delegation and attacked some of those present causing five minor injuries, including a 4-year old girl. As the Catalan Government’s representative was about to make his speech, some 15 members of an extreme-right wing group entered the centre shouting “make no mistake, Catalonia is Spain”. The group was carrying Nazi flags as well as flags of the Falange – the party of Franco. One camera operator was taken to hospital with a dislocation. No arrests have been made by the Spanish Police.

Immigrants bring more than they get out of the Welfare State, concludes a study

May 7, 2011 02:52 AM | CNA

The study is funded by Catalan savings bank ‘la Caixa’ with data at Spanish-level. It reveals, contrary to xenophobic statements that immigrants bring more revenue to the state than the costs they generate. In addition, their presence also brings more services. “We came to the conclusion than the impact of immigration in the Welfare State is clearly positive”, states the coordinator of the study.