New robot separates plastic from waste at recycling plants
Machine created by Catalan company Picvisa and Ferrovial Servicios already being pilot tested
Machine created by Catalan company Picvisa and Ferrovial Servicios already being pilot tested
The current ICV member urged “working together” and “feminism” to combat the far-right rise
The European Parliament has approved a new Port Services Regulation (PSR) which grants each port the legislative power to regulate its own rates and internal structure. This new regulation could end the “hypercentralism” of the Puertos del Estado, the government-run sector which controls the ports in Spain. As the Port of Barcelona has seen more and more traffic in the last few years, this could allow for it to truly ¨thrive”, by allowing it to lower its rates to more competitive prices, and opening it to becoming a European port for international commerce. The conservative People’s Party (PP), the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), and Unionist Ciutadans all voted against the legislation.
The alternative left in Catalonia is gathered around En Comú Podem, a coalition which is running for the Spanish elections with members from Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV, alternative left-wing Podem, which is the Catalan branch of the Spanish party Podemos, and representatives from the 'En Comú' candidacies, which won significant mayoralties in the last local elections, for example that of Barcelona, with social activist and now Barcelona mayor Ada Colau as its strongest asset. En Comú Podem's programme focuses on social measures to beat the crisis which "is still lashing Spain" and improving the situation "of those who are suffering its consequences", stated its top member, Xavier Domènech. Regarding Catalonia's push for independence, Domènech defended the celebration of a "binding referendum" with "a clear question which can be answered with yes or no", he stated.
Current Catalan President, Artur Mas stated this Friday that "the public tender system of the Catalan Government is flawless. There are no mistakes nor possibilities to influence it in a partisan or personal way", regarding the accusations of bad practice in relation to assessing public contracts. Mas appeared before the Parliament to comment on the recent phase of the 'Petrum' anti-corruption operation, which investigates whether companies paid a 3% commission to the party foundation 'CatDem' in exchange for public contracts. "The CatDem did receive contributions from companies, it is legal, public and specified in many documents" stated President Mas "if we don't like the legal system, we must change it rather than criminalise it" and added that "other parties' foundations have also received commissions from these companies". Mas also slammed the Spanish Guardia Civil searches as "a show" that pursues "hurting rather than investigating".
Pablo Iglesias, Secretary General of the Spanish alternative left party Podemos, has committed himself in Barcelona to respecting “the democratic will expressed by Catalans” regarding a self-determination vote, although he did not mention independence. Iglesias made this statement during the presentation of the electoral coalitions built for both the Catalan and Spanish elections with the Catalan Eco-Socialist and Post-Communist coalition ICV-EUiA, which were announced a few days ago. The leader of Podemos recognised that “the way [such an expression] will be legally materialised will present difficulties”, but that his party is “committed to implementing the most operative and effective ways so that such difficulties can be removed”. Meanwhile, ICV’s National Coordinator, Joan Herrera, said that “in order to change Catalonia, we have to change the entire [Spanish] State”. Furthermore, he said that their coalition MPs elected in Catalonia will form their own group in the Spanish Parliament.
The current manager of FC Bayern Munich, Catalonia-born Pep Guardiola, will occupy the symbolic last position on the unitary pro-independence list running in the next Catalan Parliament elections, which groups together Liberals, Social-Democrats, Christian-Democrats, Socialists, Greens and civil society organisations, according to news released on Monday morning by the ‘El País’ and ‘El Periódico’ newspapers. The elections are scheduled for 27 September and many parties are planning to transform them into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence after the Spanish Government’s unilateral blocking attitude for the last 3 years. For many people, this is the only way left to hold a legal vote on independence, after the Spanish Government has totally rejected even talking about the self-determination claims democratically expressed by a majority of Catalan citizens through the last Catalan elections in 2012 and many peaceful mass demonstrations.
On Friday, the Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV and alternative left-wing Podem (Catalan branch of the Spanish party Podemos), reached an agreement to run together in the Spanish elections, after already having agreed a few days ago to run together in the next Catalan elections (scheduled for 27 September). The Spanish elections have not been called yet, but are expected to be held later this year, according to Barcelona-based newspaper 'El Periódico' and sources from the two political parties. In late June, the leaders of ICV, Joan Herrera, and Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, already announced that the two parties intended to participate as a coalition in both the Catalan and Spanish elections. They are to run in both ballots under the name 'Catalunya Sí que es pot' (in English, 'Catalonia yes we can'), adding the word 'Podem' at the beginning of the name for the Spanish elections.
Former Member of the European Parliament Raül Romeva, who also used to be a member of the Catalan Green-Socialist party ICV, will be heading the pro-independence unitary list formed for the next Catalan elections by the Liberal party CDC, the Social-Democrat ERC, the Socialist MES and the Christian-Democrat DC with leading representatives from civil society. Civil society activists Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals will come second and third respectively. The elections, scheduled for 27 September, will become a 'de facto' referendum on independence, after almost 3 years of the Spanish Government unilaterally blocking any discussion for a mutually agreed vote, despite the clear democratic mandate from the 2012 Catalan elections, when citizens voted overwhelmingly for parties supporting a legal self-determination vote. After months of discussions, almost all the pro-independence forces are uniting and forming a shared list to transform the next elections into an independence plebiscite.
Ada Colau is the new Mayor of Barcelona. It is the first time that the Catalan capital has a woman as Mayor. Colau, who led the alternative left and green coalition Barcelona en Comú, won the last municipal elections – held on 24 May. However, she lacked support to reach the absolute majority in the City Council and be elected Mayor. During the last 3 weeks, she has been negotiating with the other leftist parties over forming a coalition government or at least obtaining their support and reaching the 21 vote minimum necessary in the City Council’s mayoral election. None of the other parties have so far agreed to form a government coalition with Colau, but 3 of them have backed her to be elected Mayor. They are the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC, the Catalan Socialist Party PSC and the radical independence and alternative left party CUP.
The leader of the alternative left and green coalition Barcelona en Comú, Ada Colau, has announced that she will attend the massive demonstration for independence scheduled for Catalonia's National Day (11 September). In 2014, the demonstration gathered more than 1.8 million people in Barcelona. Colau won the municipal elections 2 weeks ago and therefore is likely to become the next Mayor of the Catalan capital. Last week, she said she would not join the self-determination road map agreed between the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU and the left-wing independence party ERC because she refuses to reach agreements with the right-wing CiU. Pro-Spanish unity media started to speculate that she did not support Catalonia's self-determination process. This Monday Colau highlighted her commitment to the process and announced her will to contribute "to a constituent process that should allow for real sovereignty", expanding the current process' plurality.
Ada Colau, who leads the alternative left and green coalition Barcelona en Comú, is very likely to become the Catalan capital's next Mayor, with there not being enough ground on which to build an alternative majority. Colau won Sunday’s elections by obtaining 11 seats in the 41-seat City Council, just 1 seat more than the incumbent Mayor from the centre-right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU, Xavier Trias. In the last days, the People's Party – which runs the Spanish Government – and some economic powers have been pressuring for the building of an alternative majority led by Trias. However, the essential parties involved do not support the idea. In order to facilitate her election, Colau has cleared up any doubt surrounding her fully supporting the continuing of the Mobile World Congress, the world's main event of the mobile phone-related industries, which will take place each year in Barcelona until 2018. Colau has validated the offer prepared by Trias' team to extend the organisation of the congress until at least 2023.
The most likely future Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has held a press conference the day after election night, in which her alternative left, green and pro-self-determination coalition Barcelona en Comú became the most-voted party in the Catalan capital, obtaining 11 seats, far from the 21-seat absolute majority. Colau stated that she would “start a round of talks” with the other left-wing parties to look for government agreements as of this Monday. She will contact the social-democrat Catalan independence party ERC (5 seats), the Catalan Socialist Party (4 seats) and the radical independence and alternative left-wing party CUP (3 seats). However, she did not rule out the possibility of reaching specific agreements with other parties on some important issues. She also highlighted her commitment to Catalonia’s right to self-determination. In addition, Colau also accused the current Mayor from the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Xavier Trias, of signing last-minute contracts before leaving office.