PP chooses controversial former Mayor to run in Catalan elections, despite his xenophobic statements

July 28, 2015 09:53 PM | ACN

The conservative People's Party – which runs the Spanish Government – has chosen Xavier García Albiol, whose statements have been called xenophobic by many, to top its candidature for the next Catalan Parliament elections and run for President of the Catalan Government. García Albiol, who was Mayor of Badalona between 2011 and 2015, will replace the leader of the PP's Catalan branch, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, who is currently involved in a dirty political espionage case. A few weeks ago it was said that the PP would stick with Sánchez-Camacho to run in the next Catalan Elections, scheduled for 27 September and likely to be transformed into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence from Spain. However, after the rest of the main parties chose new faces to top their candidatures, the PP is doing the same and has picked García Albiol, who lost Badalona's mayoral office in May, despite being the most voted candidate, as he was unable to achieve an absolute majority.

Cosmopolitan Catalonia: a long history of attracting newcomers from worldwide

March 17, 2015 08:48 PM | Nell English

Catalonia has a long history with immigration, welcoming foreigners from all over the world has left it with a cosmopolitan and multicultural nature. In more recent years, immigration has been well-documented by the Catalan Government and official statistics, which show various patterns. The first wave of people arriving in Catalonia, especially in the industrial capital of Barcelona, were domestic immigrants from within Spain, while later many came from South America and Northern Africa. The recent economic crisis caused a lull in these figures, but the number of foreign nationals from Asia and Europe (especially Italy and the UK) has increased over more recent years. Conscious of the need for sustainable co-living, Catalonia taken pains to accommodate its diverse population and the ACN spoke to several people about their experience moving to Barcelona.

Spanish Government to expand Constitutional Court appeal and Catalan Parliament to challenge Court President

October 3, 2014 09:13 PM | ACN

The judicial battle for the 9th of November's vote was intensified in the last few hours by Catalan authorities and the Spanish Government. On Thursday evening, the Catalan Parliament's Bureau agreed to challenge 2 of the 12 Constitutional Court members for their closeness to the People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government. They are the Court's President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who was a PP member until 2011, and Pedro José González-Trevijano, who is directly dealing with the Spanish Government's appeal. Moreover, the Spanish Government has announced it will include in its appeals, the election of the members of the Control Commission for consultation votes, which was voted for on Wednesday by the Catalan Parliament and ratified by the Catalan President on Thursday, despite the Court's temporary suspension of the law on which it is based.

South-African Archbishop Desmond Tutu awarded the prestigious Premi Internacional Catalunya

May 8, 2014 09:33 PM | ACN

Desmond Tutu, the South-African Archbishop who fought the Apartheid regime and won the Nobel Peace Prize, has been awarded the 26th Premi Internacional Catalunya. This is the most prestigious prize given by the Catalan Government and follows the decision of an independent jury formed of high-profile professionals from Catalonia and abroad. The jury has chosen Tutu from 162 other names from 51 different countries for "his vigorous and constant fight for social justice and the improvement of living conditions of those oppressed". Last year, the Premi Internacional Catalunya was awarded to the former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland and to the young Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai for "their determination and courage in the defence of human rights". Other awardees have been Lula da Silva, Haruki Murakami, Jimmy Carter, Jacques Delors, Amartya Sen and Aung San Suu Kyi, among others.

Tariq Ramadan: “Europe does not care about democracy in the Arab countries but rather its geo-strategic interests”

February 28, 2011 11:23 PM | CNA / Maria Fernández Noguera / Ignacio Portela Giráldez

The Islamic intellectual, Tariq Ramadan was interviewed by CNA. “We are afraid of the arrival of immigrants, but the best thing to do is develop the countries of origin”. The grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder criticised Europe’s lack of commitment with the democratization of the Muslim world as revolts go on and racism grows in countries like Switzerland and Spain.