Catalan President says in Madrid that “Catalonia needs a state” since reforming Spain has not been possible

September 14, 2012 01:05 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

At a conference in Madrid, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, warned Spain about the “great mistake” of downplaying the massive demonstration for independence. No members of the Spanish Government or leaders of the Socialist Party (PSOE) attended the event, which is unusual. In front of a crowded audience with many foreign press, Catalan MPs and businesspeople, Mas explained that Catalonia “has been trying for decades to reform Spain to make it our state”. However, Catalans are now “tired” from “the lack of respect” and the “disloyalty”. “If Spain denies the fact of Catalonia being a nation”, “many issues will not be solved”. Then “it is logical for a people to solve their future “peacefully, democratically and in a strictly European way”.

The Catalan President asks Spain to “listen carefully”, “don’t get angry”, and offer solutions, “if it has them”

September 13, 2012 12:25 AM | CNA

“Listen, and listen carefully. Do not get angry if you don’t like what you see. And put solutions on the table, if you have them”, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas told Spain the day after the 1.5 million strong demonstration for Catalonia’s independence. He also stated he will work to create “state structures”. The Spanish Government refused to comment directly on the event, stating it should be analysed “coldly”. However, it said Spain and Catalonia should have other priorities.

1.5 million people demonstrate peacefully for Catalonia’s independence from Spain

September 12, 2012 01:15 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In the largest demonstration Barcelona has ever seen, 1.5 million citizens according to the Catalan Police marched in Catalonia’s capital after the banner “Catalonia, Europe’s new state”. The Spanish Government reported a reduced number of 600,000 participants while organisers talked of 2 million participants. The Catalan President did not attend it because of his institutional position, but gave his support at a personal level. Most of the Catalan Government was present. Members from most of the Catalan political parties were also present, including the Socialists (PSC) but at a personal level. The only absentees were representatives from the People’s Party (PP) and anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’ (C’s). Many families gathered for the demonstration which ended with the petition to start the secession process.

The European Commission is “aware” of Barcelona’s demonstration supporting Catalonia’s independence

September 11, 2012 11:25 PM | CNA

However, the Commission also clarified Barroso’s words from late August. A Commission Spokesman said hours before the kick off of the independence demonstration that in the case of secession from Spain, Catalonia would no longer be part of the EU. A negotiation process to join the EU would be required. However, other EU sources stated that the hypothetical new state may have the same benefits of a “transitional” member. They also added that the accession process would be “faster and easier”. Catalan citizens have been net contributors to the EU for decades and are currently considered European Citizens, but this is “additional”, according to Barroso.

The reasons behind Barcelona’s massive demonstration for Catalonia’s independence

September 11, 2012 06:29 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalan nationalism has changed over the years. Most Catalan nationalists have now concluded that Spain will never accept a plurinational state, will not fully respect Catalan language and culture, will continue threatening Catalonia’s self-government, and will not accept a reduction in Catalonia’s fiscal contribution to the rest of Spain, which annually represents between 6.4% and 8.7% of the Catalan GDP. Catalan nationalists are now tired of negotiating these issues and have come to the conclusion that Spain will never accept a comfortable place for Catalonia within the Spanish state. Now, 51% of Catalans citizens would vote for the independence in a hypothetical referendum.

Catalonia’s National Day scheduled festivities

September 11, 2012 12:19 AM | CNA

September 11th is the National Day of Catalonia. It remembers the day Barcelona was defeated by the Bourbon army in 1714 and Catalonia lost its self-governmental institutions and a new political system was imposed. The institutional festivities include the traditional offer of flowers to Rafael Casanova’s statue, who was leading the Catalan army during the 14-month Siege of Barcelona (1713-1714). The main institutional event takes place in the Ciutadella Park of the Catalan capital. At 18.00, the main demonstration organised by civil society organisations supporting Catalonia’s independence will kick off.

“Madrid’s refusal to negotiate a fiscal agreement with Catalonia fuels support for independence”, says Québécois analyst

September 7, 2012 12:05 AM | CNA / Maria Fernández Noguera / David Tuxworth

The political scientist Alain Gagnon, from the Université du Québec à Montréal, believes that popular desire for secession is weaker in the francophone territory of Quebec than in Catalonia because Canada has agreed to remodel the fiscal redistribution scheme. He believes that Catalonia is closer than Quebec to becoming an independent state and considers that next Tuesday’s demonstrations on the Catalan National Day could “raise awareness of the situation between Catalonia and Spain at a European level”.

The European Commission states for the first time that Catalonia’s independence would have to be negotiated at international level

August 30, 2012 11:29 PM | CNA

Until now, the EU was refusing to openly discuss the issue and was stating it was strictly an internal matter to be solved within Spain. The President of the European Commission, José Durao Barroso, admitted that “in the hypothetical case of a secession” of Catalonia “the solution should be found and negotiated within the international legal framework”. In this new scenario, Catalonia would not automatically be a member of the EU but this would be part of the negotiations. Barroso was ambiguous about the future of the European citizenship Catalan citizens currently have and said that “EU citizenship is additional”.

The main Catalan nationalist party points towards Catalonia’s independence

March 27, 2012 12:35 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

‘Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya’ (CDC), the Liberal force within the two-party Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU), held its party congress over the weekend. For the first time in its history, CDC has claimed for Catalonia to have its “own state” in order “to avoid being erased off the map of cultures, languages, and world nations” as “Spain threatens Catalonia” and is no longer a “project that can be shared”. The current President of the Catalan Government and until last weekend the CDC Secretary General, Artur Mas, has now become the party Chairman. Oriol Pujol, son of the former Catalan president Jordi Pujol and Mas' close collaborator, has been elected the new Secretary General with 97.8% of the votes.

42.9% of Catalans would vote for independence and 28.2% against it according to the first official poll on the issue

June 30, 2011 01:29 PM | CNA / Patricia Mateos

However, if the question is open to other options, 33% would prefer a Catalan State within a Federal Spain, 31.8% the current situation as an Autonomous Community and 25.5% want Catalonia to be an independent nation. The poll results also show that 75.5% of Catalans want the Catalan Government to raise all the taxes, while only 18.2% prefer the current system through which the Spanish Government raises the main taxes. The poll was compiled by the Catalan Polling Centre (CEO), which is managed by the Catalan Government.

Catalonia’s independence: the Catalan Parliament says “no” and the popular consultation process says “yes”

April 15, 2011 02:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Parliament rejected a law proposal on Catalonia’s independence three days after the popular consultation process on the issue ended with a clear “yes”. This civil society voting was not an official referendum and it was not organised by public powers. It took place over the course of 18 months, and Barcelona closed the process on Sunday. 21% of the electoral census turned out (885.000 citizens) and 90% of the voters backed Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Members of the Catalan Government cast their vote, including the President.

Spain will recognise South Sudan’s independence, but not Kosovo's

January 11, 2011 10:21 PM | CNA / Raquel Correa

If South Sudan citizens finally vote for independence, the Spanish Government will respect it and recognise their independence. However, the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trinidad Jiménez, announced that Spain would not review its stance on Kosovo. The Balkan country declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 but Spain is one of the 5 EU Member States that still refuses to recognise it.