josé manuel garcía-margallo

Minister Margallo insists Catalans will lose Spanish nationality in the case of independence

September 23, 2015 05:42 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Manuel García-Margallo stated this Wednesday that Catalans would not be able to maintain their Spanish nationality or European citizenship in the case of independence. “Catalan people cannot expect to maintain certain attributes and not others” he insisted. Margallo called the Catalans’ idea some sort of “joke” and cited Latin American countries’ independence from Spain and Algeria’s independence as examples. He made such statement after Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, failed to defend the idea that Catalans will lose Spanish nationality (because the Spanish Constitution allows them to keep it as they are Spanish by origin). Referring to this, Catalan President Artur Mas stated that “Spain’s threats turn against them like a boomerang”.

Danish Parliament approves proposal requesting Spain and Catalonia to talk about self-determination

May 19, 2015 10:17 PM | ACN

The Parliament of Denmark approved on Tuesday a proposal debated a week ago requesting Spain and Catalonia to hold "a peaceful and democratic dialogue" on "the question of Catalonia's independence". The motion was approved in the end with the support of 6 of the 8 parliamentary groups and the abstention of the other two, resulting in 64 votes in favour, 41 abstentions and 0 votes against. There have been rumours suggesting that Spanish Government pressure was the reason why the main opposition party, the Liberal Venstre, abstained despite last week announcing its support. The other group which abstained was the extreme-right Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti). The proposal is the answer the Danish Foreign Affairs Minister, Martin Lidegaard, from the Danish Social Liberal Party, gave to a question filed by an MP from the Red-Green Alliance, Nikolaj Villumsen.

EU and Mediterranean countries agree on fostering education and information exchange to face jihadism

April 13, 2015 09:25 PM | ACN

The Euromed ministerial conference held in Barcelona on Monday 13 April has ended with agreement on a number of initiatives to fight jihadist terrorism. The informal meeting gathered together the foreign affairs ministers of 22 European Union Member States and 10 southern Mediterranean countries and is the most important Euromed conference since 2008. They discussed irregular immigration, trade and Islamic terrorism. In regard to the latter, they agreed on increasing cooperation and information exchange between them to face this threat, as well as improving the education offered to young people, so as to avoid recruitment by jihadist activists, explained the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President, Federica Mogherini. Besides this, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, also insisted on his proposal to create an International Penal Court for Terrorism.

Catalonia's future "always Mediterranean and European", states Catalan President at Euromed summit

April 13, 2015 06:00 PM | ACN

In front of the foreign affairs ministers of 22 European Union Member States, those of the southern Mediterranean countries and the Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, gathered in Barcelona for a summit on trade and the fight against jihadism, the Catalan Government President, Artur Mas, said in his opening speech that "Catalonia and Barcelona were born as Mediterranean and have developed as both Mediterranean and European". The Catalan President, who addressed the audience in Spanish, English, Catalan and French, also stressed that Catalonia's future horizons are "always Mediterranean and European", underlining "the umbilical cord with Europe and the Carolingian Empire that has never been broken". "We have the vocation of being a Mediterranean and European capital city", he added. In turn, Rajoy highlighted that Barcelona is "the Spanish capital of the Mediterranean".

Spanish Government threatens to suspend Catalonia's self-rule to stop independence vote

September 16, 2014 09:14 PM | ACN

Catalonia's self-government might be suspended in the coming weeks if the Catalan authorities organise the self-determination consultation vote on the 9th of November, suggested the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo. The week after 1.8 million Catalans formed an 11km-long mosaic to support November's non-binding vote, García-Margallo stated that the Spanish Executive will use "all the means at its disposal" to stop such a vote from happening; all the means "within the Law, but using all the Law", he added. A few hours later, before the Spanish Parliament, García-Margallo was asked about this statement, which he confirmed. He also dared to talk about an armed intervention but ruled out the possibility of "putting out the tanks", because "that does not seem to be within the Constitution". Catalonia's autonomy was restored in Autumn 1977 and it was one of the most essential pillars of Spain's democratic transition and of the Constitution approved in December 1978.

Spanish Embassy in The Netherlands censors presentation of novel on 1714 Barcelona's siege

September 5, 2014 09:58 PM | ACN

The Instituto Cervantes in Utrecht was obliged to cancel the presentation of 'Victus', a novel by Catalan author Albert Sánchez Piñol on the Spanish Succession War and Barcelona's military siege of 1714, after which Catalonia lost its self-government institutions and political, social and cultural repression started. According to the author, his Dutch editorial house Signatuur and the Communication Director of the Cervantes Institute, the Spanish Embassy in The Netherlands obliged them to cancel the event the day before it was supposed to happen for political reasons. However, the Spanish Government is denying any political veto and states the cancellation was due to "diary problems". The scandal has been covered by Dutch media and Juliette Van Wersh, Publisher at Signatuur, stated they are "shocked" for a decision against "freedom of expression". The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated that this veto is "in line with the international boycott" which Spanish authorities are carrying out against self-determination.

Catalan Government rejects comparison between Eastern Ukraine’s referendums and Catalonia’s

May 14, 2014 10:42 AM | ACN

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, compared the independence referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk with Catalonia’s self-determination process. The Spokesperson of the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, rejected the comparison and stated that García-Margallo “is making a mistake” since “he is putting Spain’s image in a place that should not interest him”. “In any case, Catalonia does not compare itself” with Eastern Ukraine, Homs added. On previous occasions he has drawn attention to the peaceful demands from Catalonia, which could fit into Spain’s constitutional framework if there was the political will. Besides, the Catalan Government issued a statement in which it did not recognize the legitimacy of Donetsk’s and Lugansk’s referendums but expressed its full support for the EU decisions.

Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister accuses the Catalan Government of lying about independent Catalonia's EU membership

April 16, 2014 09:41 PM | ACN

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, has accused the Catalan Government of "not telling the whole truth" regarding the EU membership of an independent Catalonia. García-Margallo stated a month ago that an independent Catalonia would "roam across space" and would be "excluded from the European Union for centuries of centuries". On Wednesday he referred to an expert report issued this week by the Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition (CATN), formed of prestigious academics. The CATN stated that EU Treaties do not include provisions for automatic expulsion nor for automatic admission. Therefore, the final decision would be reached in a negotiation with political and economic interests at play. For them, the most likely scenario is one with transition measures to guarantee the continuity of EU Law, the Schengen Area and the Euro, while waiting for the official admission of Catalonia to be accepted.

Catalan Government's Advisory Council: an independent Catalonia would not be excluded from the EU

April 14, 2014 09:46 PM | ACN

An independent Catalonia would benefit from transition measures that would guarantee the continuity of European Union agreements, thus staying within the Schengen Area and the Euro Zone. This is the most likely scenario in the event of independence, according to the Catalan Government's Advisory Council for the National Transition (CATN), which is a body formed of independent and prestigious academics. The CATN is issuing a series of reports on different aspects related to a hypothetical independent Catalan state. This expert group emphasises that there is "no legal basis" to conclude that Catalonia would be automatically expelled from the EU the moment it became independent, or to state that it would automatically join the Union as a new Member State. There is no provision in the Treaties and there are no precedents. The report concludes that Catalonia's EU membership will be decided in a negotiation process where political and economic interests will be at play.

Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry report: independent Catalonia’s GDP would drop by 20%

March 13, 2014 09:06 PM | ACN

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry has drafted a new report on the consequences of an independent Catalonia, which predicts a 20% drop of the Catalan GDP. According to ‘El Periódico’ newspaper, the document - which will be sent to embassies throughout the world - foresees a fall in exports towards Europe and Spain, a decrease in foreign investments, a flight of talent, less tourism revenues because of the “lack of a common currency”, and a soar in Catalan debt which would reach 78.4% of the Catalan GDP since it would have to assume 18.9% of the Spanish Government's debt. The Catalan Minister for the Presidency and Government Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, said the report was merely “speculative”, adding that the Spanish Ministry was actually “campaigning” against self-determination. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs has asked Catalan authorities to back such claims with “empirical evidence”.

Spanish Government: Independent Catalonia to "roam across space […] excluded from the EU for the centuries of the centuries"

March 10, 2014 07:43 PM | ACN

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, stated that a unilateral declaration of independence would condemn Catalonia "to roam across space" and that it would be "excluded from the European Union for the centuries of the centuries". García-Margallo, who is one of the most vocal members of the Spanish Executive against Catalonia's independence, stated that such a scenario is "a high risk operation". He criticised the politicians supporting independence, who "put at risk a population that is essentially European", which goes against the will of a majority of Catalans "who want to be part of the European area". "Secession is extremely harmful for Spain but particularly harmful for Catalonia", he insisted. On the same day, the Candidate of the Greens to chair the European Commission, German Ska Keller, stated she was supporting Catalonia's right to self-determination.

Spanish Deputy Minister for the EU told Commissioner Reding “what is going on in this country”

February 26, 2014 08:56 PM | ACN

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy disclosed on Tuesday evening that the Spanish Deputy Minister for EU Affairs, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo had travelled to Barcelona on Sunday “to talk with” Viviane Reding and tell her “what is going on in this country”. Méndez de Vigo’s trip was decided after the European Commission Vice President had publicly called on Catalan and Spanish authorities to negotiate “without red-lines” to solve the conflict. Rajoy also said that he had spoken about Catalonia with the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, “and many other political leaders”. The Catalan Government’s Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, ironically stated that  the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry is putting “so much pressure […] for us not to be received anywhere [to talk about self-determination] that in the end [this attitude] opens doors for us”.

The European Commission asks for dialogue to keep Catalonia within Spain

February 24, 2014 09:10 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government replies that dialogue can only take place “within the law” and respecting “the national sovereignty”, “two red-lines” that cannot be questioned. The Catalan Government said the Commission should consider Catalonia as “a very good ally to build Europe’s future”. The day before, in Barcelona, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, had asked the Spanish and Catalan authorities “to talk” with “an open attitude” and “without red-lines” in order to remain “united”. The European Commission broke its supposed neutrality in the political conflict regarding Catalonia’s future within Spain, despite it officially considers the issue to be Spain’s internal affair. The Commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights acknowledged “to understand” the Catalan claims, but she refused to say whether citizens should be allowed to hold a self-determination vote. However, she stated that if independence was declared, Catalonia would no longer be part of the EU.