Madrid’s President demands playing the Cup Final without an audience to avoid supporters booing Spanish anthem

May 23, 2012 08:31 PM | CNA

Esperanza Aguirre, one of the main representative from Spanish Nationalism, has asked to postpone the game or playing it in an empty stadium in order to avoid supporters whistling and booing the Spanish National anthem and Prince Felipe, as was the case in 2009. This season’s Spanish Cup Final will be decided in Madrid between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club of Bilbao, a Catalan and a Basque team. Catalan politicians have criticised Aguirre for mixing football and politics. CiU and the PSC have coincided in pointing out that Aguirre is ready to talk about the Cup Final but not about Madrid’s public deficit deviation. Besides, an extreme-right demonstration in Madrid organised on the same day has been authorised.

The Spanish Government doesn’t transfer the money, but transfers the blame

April 25, 2012 12:36 AM | CNA

The Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, blamed the Autonomies and town halls for Spain’s public deficit. Montoro stated that the Spanish Government is meeting the deficit objective for 2012 with the results from the first quarter. However, Catalan MPs reminded Montoro that he is refusing to pay the money it owes Catalan institutions and that with this strategy he transfers the blame for the deficit by not transferring the funds. The Catalan Government directly accused the Spanish Executive for their “massive lie”. According to internal studies from the Catalan Government, the Spanish Executive made incorrect calculations by saying the Autonomies could save €10 billion in healthcare and education with last week’s measures.

International tourist industry meets in Catalonia

April 21, 2012 01:02 AM | CNA

The 21st edition of Catalonia’s International Tourism Fair takes place between April 20th and 22nd in Barcelona. In this annual trade fair, the sector displays its best offers and trends. This year sport tourism, wine tourism and the camping sector are some of the main attractions. More than 200,000 people are expected to visit the event. Tourism represents 12% of Catalonia’s GDP, employing more than 400,000 people. The Catalan tourist industry welcomed 23.5 million visitors in 2011 and earned €11.3 billion; estimates for 2012 expect figures to increase by 7%. National Geographic included the Costa Brava as one of its top 20 destinations worldwide.

The privatisation of Barcelona El Prat and Madrid Barajas airports halted by the new Spanish Government

January 23, 2012 11:10 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The participation of the Catalan business community and local governments in the management of Barcelona’s Airport has been halted. This has been a long-term claim by many in Catalonia, as they believe that the centralised management of the airports has clearly benefited Madrid over Barcelona. The new Spanish Minister for Public Works and Transport announced the decision to cancel the tender process to privatise the management of Spain’s two main airports, Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat. The reasons for the decision have been put down to a negative time for the markets and a desire for the value of the assets to increase in the future.

Rajoy’s centralist proposals put Catalan forces on guard

December 19, 2011 11:54 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The winner of the Spanish Elections, Mariano Rajoy, outlined his government programme at the parliamentary debate on his approval before being officially appointed Prime Minister. Rajoy, without revealing any details, talked about redefining public powers, reforming public administrations, homogenising welfare policies and ensuring market unity. The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) and the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) warned Rajoy of not affecting Catalonia’s self-government with his reforms.

The Lleida-Alguaire Airport will operate flights to outside the Schengen Area this winter

December 1, 2011 10:58 PM | CNA

British skiers are able to access the Catalan Pyrenees as of December with direct flights to Lleida Airport. The Spanish Government has authorised the arrival and departure of non-Schengen flights, coming from the likes of the United Kingdom and Russia. However, the authorisation’s delay forced a Russian tour operator to cancel the flights for this season and postpone them until next year.

The People’s Party would win the Spanish General Elections with an absolute majority, according to the exit polls

November 20, 2011 09:53 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Catalonia is the only autonomous community where the Socialist Party has clearly won, but has lost around 35% of its MPs, according to the exit poll released by TV3. The People’s Party (PP) will remain Catalonia’s third biggest force, behind the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalists (CiU), who will increase their share by some 40%. The exit polls released at 20.00 CET, when the polls closed, indicate an absolute majority for the PP and an historical defeat for the Socialists throughout Spain. The PP will get between 181 and 185 MPs, when the absolute majority is 176 seats. The election day has been calm, with a lower turnout than in the 2008 elections, particularly in Catalonia.

The main Catalan candidates for the Spanish elections

November 8, 2011 02:08 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Next November 20th, Spaniards will vote for the new Spanish Parliament. They will elect one of the lists running in their province, which is their constituency. Catalans will thus elect the lists running in the four Catalan provinces. Therefore, they will not directly elect Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (PSOE) or Mariano Rajoy (PP), but their party candidates in Catalonia, as well as parties only running in Catalonia, such as the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) or the Catalan Green Socialist Coalition (ICV-EUiA).

Catalan President: “Catalonia and Spain will be more separated” if Catalan demands on the Constitutional amendment are not heard

September 2, 2011 12:06 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

“It means that we are not wanted, we are excluded, we are ignored” stated Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). It was the first time he has spoken on the Constitutional amendment limiting the public deficit that has been agreed on only between the PSOE and the PP. The CiU has protested against reforming the Constitution solely on the basis of the agreement of only two parties. Members of the PP and the PSOE have been trying to convince the CiU to support what both parties had previously agreed, and PM Zapatero (from the PSOE) asked the CiU to show some “moderation”.

Catalan moderate nationalists warn that a great clash with unforeseeable consequences is about to happen

August 30, 2011 11:10 PM | CNA

Meanwhile, the Catalan Government, run by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU), announces its own law on budget stability. The CiU feels excluded from the reform of the Spanish Constitution to limit public deficit, especially as they had been one of the key actors when negotiating and approving the Constitution in 1978. The CiU’s Spokesperson warned that, since “the Constitutional consensus” had been broken by the PP and the PSOE, “a great clash with unforeseeable and undesired consequences will happen” if nothing changes.

The Spanish Constitutional amendment limiting the public deficit will finally be approved without a referendum thanks to the PSC

August 29, 2011 11:25 PM | CNA

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) decides not to break the Socialists’ unity and not to force a call for a binding referendum on the constitutional amendment. In addition, the PSC rejects the request of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) to include within the Constitution a limitation not only the public deficit but also a limitation on inter-regional fiscal redistribution. Moreover, the CiU stated that it has been excluded from the Constitution’s modification and therefore the Constitutional consensus is now broken.

Catalan parties are vigilant regarding the Spanish Constitutional amendment limiting public deficit and debt

August 25, 2011 10:28 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Many in Catalonia fear that a constitutional limitation to public deficit and debt may dramatically reduce Catalonia’s already restricted fiscal autonomy, which would not only affect self-governance but also the possibility to pay for investments or public services not guaranteed by the Spanish State. The fear goes beyond Catalan party boundaries regarding the second amendment to the Spanish Constitution, which would be approved through an “urgent procedure”, almost without public and political debate. Catalan senators could force a call for a binding referendum.

Lleida’s theatre and congress centre La Llotja gets Chicago’s International Architecture Award

August 24, 2011 10:34 PM | CNA

Lleida’s unique building receives one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. The city’s Mayor, Àngel Ros, is said to be proud and highlighted that 75,000 people have already gone through the cultural and business facility since its opening in 2010. La Llotja, designed by the Dutch firm Mecanoo and the Catalan Labb Arquitectura, can be used as a theatre or a conference centre.