pere navarro

Socialist leadership changes but their stance on Catalonia's self-determination does not

July 14, 2014 09:07 PM | ACN

Madrid-born Pedro Sánchez won the primaries of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) with 48% of the votes and will be elected the party's new Secretary General, replacing Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Meanwhile, Miquel Iceta received 85% of the votes and will replace Pere Navarro as the new Secretary General of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), being the only candidate in these primaries. Both of them share the previous leaderships' views on Catalonia's self-determination process: they oppose independence and November's consultation vote. Both the PSOE and the PSC held elections on Sunday but the primaries' winners will be officially elected by the emergency party congresses to be held over the next two weekends. Sánchez defeated Eduardo Madina (36%) and José Antonio Pérez Tápias (15%), who was the only candidate fully supporting Catalonia's self-determination vote and shaping Spain as a pluri-national state.

Main candidate to lead Spanish Socialist Party would accept a "legal" Catalan self-determination vote

June 16, 2014 09:45 PM | ACN

Eduardo Madina, who is probably the person best positioned to become the new Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) in July, stated he "is not scared" of citizen participation if it is "legal", when asked about Catalonia's self-determination vote scheduled on 9 November.  In a radio interview on Monday, Madina emphasised that "if there are possibilities to reach an agreement within the legal framework, the citizen participation mechanisms through legal methods seem alright to me". He added, "If everything is done within the legal framework, I am not scared of citizen participation". He also insisted that the Spanish Constitution can be reformed and that it should be done in order to push for a federal system.

Catalan Socialist leader resigns due to electoral clashes and internal tensions for self-determination

June 11, 2014 09:41 PM | ACN

Pere Navarro, First Secretary of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) – which is federated to the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), has finally decided to resign, after many people within the party had asked him for big changes since the last European elections. On the 25th of May, the PSC passed from having 36% of Catalans' votes in the 2009 European elections to 14% of them, dropping  from first to third position as the most voted party. Back then, Navarro refused to resign, despite the Secretary General of the PSOE, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, announcing he was stepping down due to the Socialists' poor results throughout Spain. In parallel, the PSC members openly supporting self-determination – which is totally rejected by the PSOE – announced they were thinking of splitting and forming their own party, after being gradually side-lined by Navarro in the last 2 years. In the last few days, Navarro desperately tried to keep the party united but since he was not succeeding, he faced increasing pressure to step down.

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%.

Legal framework for $6-billion BCN World agreed between Catalan Government and Socialist Party

March 31, 2014 10:43 PM | ACN

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) – which runs the Catalan Government – and the opposition Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) - which does not support the self-determination vote – have reached an agreement on the new legal framework to develop the macro-resort BCN World. This project, promoted by Veremonte and located in Salou (Costa Daurada), has already announced some of its international partners, but in order to attract the rest of the investors needed and start construction, the legal framework on gambling and the area’s town planning had to be upgraded. After months of talks, the CiU has finally closed a deal with the PSC, instead of doing it with the Left Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), with whom it is promoting the self-determination agenda. The $6-billion BCN World will create some 17,000 jobs and will have mega-casinos, hotels, luxury shops, conference centres and beach clubs, among other things.

Catalan Socialist Party doesn’t expel the rebel MPs but sidelines them

January 21, 2014 08:53 PM | ACN

The leadership of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) has decided to remove the 3 MPs who supported Catalonia’s self-determination from their positions within the party organisation and at the Catalan Parliament. However, the MPS were neither expelled from the party, nor from the parliamentary group. This way, the PSC avoids passing from 20 to 17 MPs and therefore becoming the 4th largest group at the Catalan Parliament, behind the 19 MPs of the People’s Party. In the last few days, the PSC leadership was insisting that the 3 MPs should quit the Parliament and leave their seat to the next person on the list. But the rebel MPs rejected this idea since, according to them, they represent a share of the voters who elected PSC representatives because they ran in the last elections supporting the organisation of a legal self-determination vote this term.

The Catalan Socialist Party breaks due to the self-determination vote

January 16, 2014 07:50 PM | ACN

3 MPs of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) have voted ‘yes’ to the bill requesting the transfer of the powers to organise referendums to the Catalan Government, and have thereby gone against the party’s leadership. The PSC ran in the last elections proposing a legal self-determination vote this term. But the increasing tensions with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – to which the PSC is federated – made the party’s leadership run away from this promise. However, an important minority within the PSC is strongly against this move and continues defending Catalonia’s right to self-determination. Before this Thursday’s crucial vote at the Catalan Parliament, 6 of the PSC MPs (30% of the total) had publicly expressed their serious doubts about opposing the bill. Finally, 1 MP decided to resign from Parliament one day before the vote and 3 other MPs did not follow the party’s instructions and supported the bill.

Earthquake among the Catalan Socialists for the self-determination vote

January 15, 2014 07:34 PM | ACN

The Mayor of Lleida, Angel Ros, announced he was quitting the Catalan Parliament since he rejects voting against self-determination on Thursday, as imposed by the leadership of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). 4 other MPs might break from the party lines as well and a 6th one - who had expressed serious doubts - finally announced he would follow the leadership instructions. They represent 30% of the PSC MPs, so their ‘rebellion’ is far from being an anecdote. In fact, the party leadership warned them they might even end up being expelled if they were breaking the ranks on this crucial vote. On Thursday, the Catalan Parliament will vote on an initiative asking the Spanish Parliament to transfer the powers to organise a referendum to the Catalan Government, following Article 150.2 of the Spanish Constitution. This formula – similar to the one used in Scotland – would enable the organisation of a legal self-determination referendum in Catalonia, something the PSC explicitly promised in the last elections but is now rejecting.

People’s Party rejects the Socialists’ territorial reform to better fit Catalonia

January 14, 2014 08:38 PM | ACN

The People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government and holds an absolute majority in the Parliament and Senate, closed the door on launching a broad debate on Spain’s territorial organisation and on reforming the Constitution accordingly. The objective of this reform would be to keep Catalonia within Spain by answering some of the Catalan claims and working towards an improved relationship. “We are not willing to open debates that divide the Spaniards”, stated Alfonso Alonso, the PP Spokesperson at the Spanish Parliament. The Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, had sent a letter to the President of the Spanish Parliament, asking him to create “a body” to debate on a broad territorial reform.

Spanish Socialists propose a “territorial reform” to better fit Catalonia

January 13, 2014 07:13 PM | ACN

The Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, sent a letter to the President of the Spanish Parliament, Jesús Posada, asking him to create “a parliamentary body to talk about the renovation of the territorial model”. This was one of the conclusions of last week’s meeting between Rubalcaba and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which is part of the PSOE. The final objective is to push for a broad Constitutional reform to create a true federal Spain and better fit Catalonia, providing an alternative from the current status quo or independence. However, the initiative faces a negative answer from the People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government and holds an absolute majority in the Parliament and Senate.

The Spanish Government “will not allow” and “will not negotiate” on Catalonia’s self-determination vote

December 12, 2013 10:08 PM | ACN

“I want to tell you with all clarity that this consultation will not take place”, emphasised the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. “It goes radically against the Constitution and the law” and “it frontally clashes against the indissoluble unity of Spain”, he insisted. The “unity of Spain and the sovereignty belonging to the Spanish people as a whole are not debatable and are out of any negotiation”, he added. Therefore, the Spanish Government, run by People’s Party (PP), completely rejects authorising a self-determination vote in Catalonia, whose exact question and date had been agreed on this Thursday amongst a majority of Catalan parties. The parties had decided to hold the vote on November 9, 2014 in order for the Spanish institutions to have time to negotiate the procedures. Meanwhile, the main civil society organisations pushing for Catalonia’s independence announced they were accepting the question.

Catalan President asks the Socialists not to run away from self-determination

November 19, 2013 04:46 PM | ACN

The parties supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination regret the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC)’s decision to step down from giving active support to this political process. Last week the PSC’s leadership decided not to back any initiative in favour of a self-determination vote that has not been agreed in advance with the Spanish Government, which totally rejects the idea and even refuses to talk about it. The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, asked the PSC “not to get off the train”, stressing the party’s tradition of defending Catalan language, culture, identity and self-government. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Green Socialist and Communist Coalition (ICV-EUiA) consider the PSC is now against a self-determination vote.

Catalan Socialists’ leadership runs away from self-determination

November 18, 2013 10:20 PM | ACN

The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) held this weekend an extraordinary meeting and approved the leadership’s proposal to oppose any initiative backing Catalonia’s self-determination that has not been agreed in advance with the Spanish Government. The PSC leadership wanted to lay the critics to rest but the crisis is far from being resolved. Critical PSC MPs do not rule out supporting a Catalan Parliament’s motion backing self-determination despite the leadership’s stance. The PSC is facing important internal tensions due to Catalonia’s self-determination issue, including tensions with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – to which they are federated. After several months of doubts, the PSC leadership decided to prioritise its relationship with the PSOE and distance itself from Catalonia’s right to self-determination, despite its electoral promises.