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Banned Catalan leader can't stand for EU Parliament either, says Spanish Court

April 6, 2017 04:24 PM | ACN

Spain's Supreme Court dismissed Francesc Hom's appeal on Thursday to the sentence which banned him from holding political office for having allowed a symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Homs was former Catalan President Artur Mas’right-hand man. Homs, who was an MP for Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) in the Spanish Parliament at the time of the sentence had to leave his seat last week after the court banned him from holding public office for a period of 18 months. The magistrates have now added that he can’t stand for the European Parliament either, since the ban “applies to all areas”. Former Catalan President, Artur Mas and former Catalan Ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega were also fined and banned from public office for the same case, which is regarded as a political action against Catalonia’s pro-independence aspirations.  

Homs at 9-N trial: “We couldn’t do anything else, freedom was at stake”

February 27, 2017 06:17 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified before the Spanish Supreme Court this Monday over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, which took place in 2014. Homs responded to the Public Prosecutor’s accusation of disobedience and perversion of justice for co-organising the consultation and insisted that the resolution from the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) “was not concrete”. Moreover, he assured that the executive “couldn’t do any anything else” but allow the symbolic vote to take place, since “ideological freedom and freedom of speech were at stake”. Homs said he admitted to “all the acts” he is accused of “and even more”, but doubted that they “constitute a crime”. In early February, former Catalan President, Artur Mas, and former Catalan Ministers Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega already testified before Barcelona’s High Court over the same case.

Homs enters the court rallied around by hundreds of supporters

February 27, 2017 10:27 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The judicial process against Catalan politicians that helped to organise the non-binding consultation on independence on the 9th of November 2014 continues. This Monday, former Catalan Government spokesman and MP for the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) testifies before the Spanish Supreme Court for disobedience and perversion of justice when co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, in which 2.3 million citizens expressed their opinion about Catalonia’s political future. The Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions stated that Homs “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation to take place and which were accountable to the Department of the Presidency” which Homs led at that time. The document emphasises that former Catalan President, Artur Mas’ right-hand man was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”. Thus, the Prosecutor demands a 9-year ban from public office.

Homs during 9-N trial: “We were not violating any law”

February 8, 2017 06:48 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister for Presidency and now Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified this Wednesday before Barcelona’s High Court, during the trial over the 9-N symbolic vote on independence. Homs, who was former Catalan President Artur Mas’ right hand man at the time when the non-binding consultation took place, in 2014, gave his testimony as witness. “I told the Government that we were not violating any law and even less the penal code”, Homs stated and pointed out that the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) resolution wasn’t clear. Coinciding with his declaration, this Wednesday it was made public that Homs will have to appear before the Spanish Supreme Court on the 27th of February, accused of disobedience and perversion of justice when co-organising the 9-N.

Spain’s Supreme Court to try Francesc Homs over 9-N vote

January 20, 2017 07:19 PM | ACN

The judicial process against Catalan politicians that helped to organise the non-binding consultation on independence on the 9th of November 2014 continues. The former Catalan Government spokesman and MP for the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECAT) will definitely face trial after Spanish Supreme Court judge Andrés Palomo del Arco decided on Friday to start an oral case against him for alleged disobedience and administrative perversion. The Spanish public prosecutor wants Homs banned from office for a period of 9 years. The judge describes in his decision the events presented by the prosecution and says that they justify the start of trial. Former Catalan President Artur Mas, former Vicepresident Joana Ortega and former minister Irene Rigau are also facing trial for the same reason, although their case is being heard in the Catalan Supreme Court. Homs is facing the Spanish Supreme Court because he is currently a member of the Spanish Congress

Spanish Prosecutor demands 9-year ban from public office for Homs for allowing 9-N symbolic vote

January 11, 2017 06:30 PM | ACN

The Spanish Supreme Court’s Prosecutor is calling for the suspension of Catalan Minister and Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, from holding public office for a 9-year period. Homs was accused of disobedience and perversion of justice for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. This Wednesday, the Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions stated that former Catalan President, Artur Mas’ right-hand man “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation” and that he was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”.

European Parliament calls for compensation for citizens affected by disasters such as the Castor Project

December 1, 2016 07:50 PM | ACN

The European Parliament passed this Thursday a text, promoted by the Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos, which explicitly reports the Castor case and the thousand earthquakes suffered by the locals in Valencia and Catalonia’s Ebro Delta. This business project, consisting of an offshore facility that had to store 1.3 billion cubic metres of reserve gas for Spain, failed after causing over 1,000 small earthquakes. The European Parliament called this Thursday to “include the victims of collateral damage linked to prospecting, surveys and the operation of offshore facilities” in the potential beneficiaries of future compensations. “It is very important that all those affected by offshore oil and gas operations, which are proved to be in detriment of the environment and of the activities of other persons be compensated”, Chrysogonos said to the Catalan News Agency, after slamming the “scandal” which is the Castor case.

Poet Miquel Desclot completes Catalan translation of Petrarch masterpiece ‘Il Canzoniere’

November 23, 2016 06:21 PM | ACN

The Catalan literary corpus has recently incorporated a new addition: ‘Il Canzoniere’ (‘Songbook’) by Francesco Petrarca. This masterpiece by the poet from Tuscany was translated into Catalan intermittently during 20 years by the Catalan poet Miquel Desclot. Desclot began working on the volume in 1994, following the path of the Catalan poet Osbald Cardona, who attempted an incomplete translation in the 50s, and his work has now come to fruition. According to Desclot, the last stage of the translation process was “insane” and kept him fully occupied for the last two years. The Petrarch masterpiece has 366 poems and a total of 7,785 verses, which now can be enjoyed by Catalan readers in their own language, thanks to Desclot and the edition released by the Catalan publisher Proa.  

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Overturning of bullfighting ban in Catalonia outrages 37 MEPs from different parties and countries

October 27, 2016 07:41 PM | ACN

The possibility that bullfighting could return to Catalonia by imposition of the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has outraged 37 MEPs from five different parties. The signatories of a joint declaration, promoted by Catalan Eco-Socialist ICV MEP, Ernest Urtasun, point out that “animal torture can’t be considered as a cultural expression” and describe bullfighting as “an unfair activity, which is sadistic and despicable”. The initiative is supported by MEPs from Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Holland, Austria and the Catalan MEPs Josep Maria Terricabras (ERC), Ernest Maragall (ERC), Ramon Tremosa (PDC), Javi López (PSC) and Francesc Gambús (Independent). On the 20th of October, the TC annulled the prohibition to host bullfighting in Catalonia after considering that the Parliament “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’ rights and freedoms” when banning bullfighting in 2010.

Homs claims his sentence for organising the 9-N vote “has already been dictated”

September 19, 2016 04:20 PM | ACN

The former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, testified on Monday before the Spanish Supreme Court. The politician is being investigated for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. During his testimony the former Mminister stated that the consultation was “legal” because it “corresponded to the Catalan Parliament mandate”. Moreover, Homs claimed that the main Spanish institutions are not acting with autonomy but are rather “copycatting People’s Party interests”. “The sentence has been already been dictated” and “it is going to be condemnatory and not absolving”, said Homs with regret.

Former Catalan Minister Homs facing trial “for listening to people’s demands”, says Puigdemont

September 19, 2016 12:05 PM | ACN

The former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, is testifying this Monday in the Supreme Court for co-organising the 9th of November 2014 informal consultation on independence. The politician arrived at the Court accompanied by former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who, together with other Catalan Ministers, is also facing trial on charges of disobedience and perversion of justice. Homs has been summonsed “for listening to people’s demands and putting out ballot boxes” for the 9-N symbolic vote, the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, said with regret.

Mas and several Catalan Ministers to accompany Homs in his statement before the Court

September 14, 2016 06:31 PM | ACN

Former Catalan Minister and Catalan Democratic Party (PDC) spokesman in the Spanish Parliament, Francesc Homs, will have to testify before the Supreme Court for co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence in 2014. Before that, however, he will receive the institutional support of the Catalan Government, the board of the PDC and that of several pro-independence associations. On Monday, when Homs is due to appear before the Court in Madrid, he will be joined by former Catalan President, Artur Mas, who was also summonsed for organising the 9-N, Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, Catalan Minister for Culture, Santi Vila and Catalan Minister for Public Administration Meritxell Borràs.

Swiss Parliament to create friendship group with Catalonia

July 6, 2016 06:36 PM | ACN

The independence process in Catalonia has awoken international interest. Proof of this is the friendship group with Catalonia that Swiss MPs from different parties will set up in the Federal Assembly. The Delegate of the Catalan Government to France and Switzerland, Martí Anglada, celebrated the “plural and transversal component” of the initiative, which goes beyond political ideologies. Anglada also emphasised the importance of a country “which is a point of reference in terms of democratic quality, direct democracy and international mediation tradition” showing its friendship toward the Catalan people “in the middle of the independence process”. Other countries, such as Estonia, have also set up friendship groups with Catalonia in their Parliament.

Party Review – CDC: “Guarantor of pro-independence movement strength”

June 23, 2016 06:39 PM | ACN

Liberal Convergència (CDC), run for the last Spanish Elections under the name ‘Democràcia i Llibertat’ (‘Democracy and Freedom’) and secured 8 MPs in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. Thisat was the first time that CDC raun for the Spanish Elections without Christian Democrat ‘Unió’, after their 40 years-long coalition split up over differences on Catalonia’s pro-independence process. This time around, Convergència has decided to run under theirhis original name and present themselves as a guarantor that Catalonia’s push for independence staysed “united” and “strong”.  “Our trajectory supports us”, stated  CDC’s candidate for the Spanish Elections, former Catalan Government’s spokesman Frances Homs, ion an article published by CNA.

Disagreement amongst Catalan parties over unilateral referendum on independence

June 10, 2016 03:06 PM | ACN

Catalan independence, and how to achieve it or stop it, was one of the main topics on the Spanish general electoral campaign trail on Friday in Catalonia. The candidates of the two parties of the governing ‘Junts pel Sí’ coalition, liberal Convergència (CDC) and left-wing Esquerra (ERC), presented different views on the idea of a unilateral referendum on independence, while ‘En Comú Podem’, the Catalan branch of ‘Unidos Podemos’, warned against organising, again, a non-consented consultation such as the one on the 9th of November 2014. “It wouldn’t be useful to call a unilateral referendum on independence if ‘no’ voters decide to boycott it”, said CDC candidate Francesc Homs, who is actually facing trial for helping to organise the 2014 consultation. Such a vote would be “worrying”, said Xavier Domènech, from ‘En Comú Podem’, who has always pointed out that his party, if victorious in the election, would call an official referendum. The candidate from ERC, Gabriel Rufián, stressed that they “will always support initiatives that give a voice to the citizens”.