The foundation to turn Barcelona into a world ‘hub’ of new technologies is born

March 13, 2012 11:48 PM | CNA

Barcelona was declared the Mobile World Capital last summer, and the organising city of the Mobile World Congress until at least 2018. Being the Mobile World Capital means that Barcelona aims to become one of the main world centres for the mobile industry. Furthermore, several projects will be based in the Catalan capital, such as a Mobile World Hub. A foundation has been created to promote these projects and attract investments. It is funded with € 30 million each from Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government and the Spanish Government, and it is open to the private sector.

The Spanish Government sets new deficit targets without agreement from neither the EU nor the Autonomous Communities

March 2, 2012 10:38 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government considers the Spanish Government to be “disloyal” for unilaterally setting the new deficit objectives and for not allowing the same degree of flexibility to the autonomous communities, who manage all basic services. The Autonomies’ new deficit target has been set at 1.5% while that of the Spanish Government is set at 4%. Mariano Rajoy has announced that Spain will have a total public deficit of 5.8% of its GDP, and not the 4.4% previously agreed with the rest of the European Union Member States. Rajoy has argued that, with a recession coming, the situation has changed and the stability pact foresees changing the targets.

CiU and the PP reach a final agreement to approve the Catalan Budget

February 14, 2012 11:49 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which controls the Catalan Government, and the People’s Party (PP), the third political party in Catalonia’s Parliament, have agreed to reduce some of the fees from the original proposal, reduce the number of public companies, build new schools and community health centres, and allocate more money to municipalities and victims of terrorism. Furthermore, the agreement goes beyond the budget and foresees the development of laws and plans to foster employment, entrepreneurship and a spending limitation. CiU has denied that it has a “stable agreement” with the PP for the entire term. The PP has demonstrated its new central role in Catalan politics. Every opposition party has criticised the agreement.

Catalonia rejects the Spanish Government’s proposal to approve the Autonomies’ budget in advance

January 5, 2012 10:02 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government has said that the new Spanish Economy Minister’s proposal goes against the Constitution and Catalonia’s self-governance. The Basque Country is also against the measure announced by Luís de Guindos in an interview with the Financial Times. He said that the crisis “was an opportunity to impose hard conditions and measures” on the Autonomies; he also added that before the Autonomies pass their budget, the Spanish Government will have to approve it. The next day, the Spanish Vice President refused to go into detail on the issue but stated that every administration has to commit to the deficit objective.

Rajoy’s centralist proposals put Catalan forces on guard

December 19, 2011 11:54 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The winner of the Spanish Elections, Mariano Rajoy, outlined his government programme at the parliamentary debate on his approval before being officially appointed Prime Minister. Rajoy, without revealing any details, talked about redefining public powers, reforming public administrations, homogenising welfare policies and ensuring market unity. The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) warned Rajoy of not affecting Catalonia’s self-government with his reforms.

The Catalan Government decides to take the Spanish Executive to court for not paying €759 million

December 14, 2011 11:54 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The outgoing Spanish Government has refused to pay Catalonia €759 million this year despite being legally obliged to do so and having stated publicly on several occasions it would pay the money. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government announced Catalonia is risking to miss the deficit objective for 2011 without the funds. Facing this situation and the damage caused by it, the Catalan Government has decided to take the Spanish State to court and explain the issue to European institutions. Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s future Prime Minister, has said that he is not aware of the issue.

The Catalan and Spanish Governments dig their heels in regarding Catalonia’s “fiscal agreement”

November 28, 2011 11:51 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Both governments are currently defining their strategies and building their respective cases in preparation for a discussion on the issue in the coming months. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, has sent a clear message to the next Spanish Prime Minister: Catalonia will only accept a negotiation on a new fiscal model, which would reduce the financial transfers to Spain’s poorer regions. If the Spanish Government refuses to discuss about it, Catalonia will organise a citizen vote on it. Over the past few days, the People’s Party has hinted that the Catalan Government’s main claim is not a matter for discussion.

The Catalan public television and radio broadcaster will have its budget drastically cut

November 25, 2011 09:30 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In a meeting at the Parliament of Catalonia, the Catalan Government has announced that it will reduce its budget contribution to the Catalan public television and radio broadcaster (CCRTV) by 13.3%. As a consequence, the entire CCRTV budget will drop and two of the six digital TV channels will be closed. However, the Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, in charge of public media, said no staff would be laid off.

Photography exhibition on Catalan human towers commemorates their first anniversary as part of World Cultural Heritage

November 17, 2011 08:12 PM | CNA / Sara Gómez

‘Castells’ or the traditional human towers originally from Southern Catalonia and generally built during town festivals were included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO last year. An exhibition at the Palau Robert in Barcelona will celebrate this first anniversary. It reflects on the tradition’s cultural and social value, and its role as one of Catalonia’s best known symbols.

‘Le Monde’ condemned paying a 15,000 euro fine for damaging FC Barcelona’s honour in 2006

November 15, 2011 03:27 PM | CNA

The French newspaper ‘Le Monde’ published an article in December 2006 that falsely linked FC Barcelona with doping practices. A first trial condemned ‘Le Monde’ to pay 300,000 euros to the Catalan sports club, but the French newspaper and the journalist Stéphane Mandard appealed. A second court reduced the fine to 15,000 euros, but they appealed again. The Spanish Supreme Court has upheld the last sentence and dismissed the French newspaper's appeal.