javi lópez

Tajani urged to keep his word and allow Catalan in the European Parliament

January 19, 2017 06:30 PM | ACN

Catalan MEPs asked the new president of the European Parliament, the European People’s Party’s Antonio Tajani, to maintain his promise and make it possible for them to speak Catalan in the plenary. During the electoral campaign for the chamber presidency, Tajani said that he would use all his power to allow Catalan to be used in parliament “as soon as possible” if he receives a petition “from the national authorities”. In a letter written in this language, the Italian added that he would put “no obstacles” to introducing Catalan. His Catalan promise came after the socialist candidate, Gianni Pittella, the ECR candidate, Helga Stevens, and the Greens/EFA candidate, Jean Lambert, also promised to allow the use of Catalan in the European Parliament.

Spanish and Catalan socialists will create a committee “to tackle their relationship problems”

November 14, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and its partner in Catalonia (PSC) will create a committee made up of members from both parties to “tackle their relationship problems” and resolve the situation “as soon as possible”. According to PSC’s leader, Miquel Iceta, the committee will have to “evaluate and review if necessary” the relationship between the  parties, established in 1978. According to Javier Fernández, president of the interim managing committee which has led PSOE since last October, the fact that PSC broke the party line and refused to facilitate Mariano Rajoy’s investiture in October was “not serious” nor “democratic”. Indeed, many members of PSOE want PSC out of the Federal Committee and for them not to be able to participate in the Spanish Parliament. The tension between PSOE and PSC reached its height on the 29th of October during the Spanish investiture debate, when 15 Socialist MPs said ‘no’ to Mariano Rajoy’s investiture, among whom were the seven MPs of the PSC. 


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.

Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party ERC wins elections for the first time

May 26, 2014 01:37 AM | ACN

Parties supporting self-determination have won the European Parliament elections in Catalonia by a clear margin; elections which have seen turnout increase from 36.9% in 2009 to 47.4% this time around, spurred by the independence debate. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) obtained 23.7% of the votes, whereas in 2009 it secured only 9.2%. The Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition (CiU), which has been in government in Catalonia since 2010, has more or less kept the same percentage of the vote, going from 22.4% to 21.9%, despite austerity measures adopted in the past few years. Support for Spain's two main parties, the People's Party (PP) – currently in government – and the Socialists (PSOE), has plummeted in Catalonia.  The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), part of the PSOE, retained only a third of its 2009 share of the vote, going from 36% to 14.3%. The PP now becomes the 5th most popular party, decreasing from 18% of the vote to 9.8%. Meanwhile, the Catalan Green Socialist and post-Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA), which also supports self-determination, increased its percentage of the vote from 6% to 10.3%. The anti-Catalan nationalism and populist party Ciutadans (C's) also polled well, increasing its share of the vote from 0.3% to 6.3%.

Catalans vote in the European elections with self-determination and budget cuts in their minds

May 23, 2014 11:15 PM | ACN

The 2014 European parliamentary elections are likely to become a milestone for Catalan people for three main reasons, which taken together send a strong message to the international community, the EU institutions and Member State governments, including that of Spain. Firstly, political parties and civil society organisations supporting self-determination have called citizens to vote in these elections as a way to push for a referendum on independence to take place on the 9th of November of this year. This may significantly increase turnout from the low 36.94% registered in 2009. Secondly, the two main self-determination parties are likely to be the most voted parties in Catalonia. In addition, the Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) may go from 4th place in the 2009 poll to 1st place this time around. Thirdly, support for the two main parties behind the EU austerity measures that turned into drastic budget cuts in southern Europe – the People’s Party and the Socialist Party – is likely to plummet in Catalonia.