santi vila

The Port of Barcelona increased its container export levels by 12% during the first half of 2013 setting a new record

August 2, 2013 09:46 PM | ACN

Container exports from the Port of Barcelona reached 276,566 TEU’s for the first half of this year, an increase of 12% on the same period of 2012. North Africa and the Far East have significantly grown as the destinations of exports from the Catalan harbour. Furthermore, among the highest exports are motor vehicles and bulk solid cargo such as cement. The Catalan Minister of Planning and Sustainability, Santi Vila, stressed the importance of the Port as an economic engine and the fact that it has changed itself from being an importer to an exporter of goods in recent years.

Catalonia's infamous N-II road off limits to heavy load lorries after 17-year controversy

June 17, 2013 04:40 PM | Marina Presas

Poor road conditions and a high rate of traffic accidents have led the Catalan Government to approve a strict circulation restriction for four axle lorries throughout 90 kilometers (56 miles) of the N-II, a road linking Madrid with Barcelona and the French border, which has only one lane per direction. Although the measure is of temporary character, it has outraged roadside shopkeepers and lorry drivers, but neighbors from towns close to the highly-frequented road totally support it. According to the Catalan Ministry for Public Works, now is the moment for the widening project of the road drawn up by the Spanish Government in 1995 to be restarted after years of delay due to a lack of funding in order to improve road conditions for the main entrance road to Spain from France.

The Catalan Government is considering the implementation of a tax on empty flats to be paid by the owning companies

April 23, 2013 12:02 AM | CNA

The new tax would not affect individual citizens neither would it be implemented in areas without housing demand. The tax aims to put apartments and houses, owned by banks and real estate companies that remain empty despite being in areas with a demand for housing, back on the market. The expected effect is an increase in the amount of housing on offer in those areas and to make renting cheaper. The Catalan Minister for Public Works, Santi Vila, announced the new tax on Monday morning. A few hours later, the Catalan President confirmed they are considering it, although no final decision has been made. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) stated that the measure was part of the agreement reached with the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU).

Italian ferry company Grimaldi invests €20 million in its new terminal in Barcelona Port

January 14, 2013 10:28 PM | CNA

Grimaldi will build a new short-distance terminal in Barcelona Port and run it for a 15-year period, which has the possibility to be extended for a further seven and a half years. The Italian company wants to increase its presence in the Catalan capital, from where it currently runs four regular ferry lines linking Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence), Porto Torres (Sardinia) and Tanger (Morocco). The new building will be ready by next summer and will be able to serve 1,800 passengers. It will cover 3,750 m2, have three stories and three boarding bridges, and it will be surrounded by a large esplanade where cars can wait before they board the ferry.

A more political Catalan Government takes office with half of the ministers to continue in the same position

December 27, 2012 11:04 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government has formed a new Cabinet with more political weight controlled by some of the people closest to him, such as Francesc Homs and Germà Gordó, who have been promoted. Half of the previous ministers will continue in the same position, such as the Vice-President Joana Ortega and the Finance Minister Andreu Mas-Colell. The new Executive combines a few Social-Democrat figures – as a gesture towards the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) – with members of the Christian-Democrat side of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), in order to respect the internal equilibrium. The new Government has the objectives of organising the self-determination vote, reducing the public deficit and reactivating the economy.

Ángel Corella: “Barcelona Ballet will represent the city and the name of Catalonia worldwide”

April 11, 2012 09:14 PM | Pep Botey

CNA interviewed Ángel Corella, perhaps the best known face of ballet in Spain. Corella’s company is now established in the Catalan capital with a new name: ‘Barcelona Ballet’. Furthermore, Corella will manage a new international dancing school and residence in Figueres, a town in northern Catalonia. The school will train young talents aged between 11 and 18, aiming to feed the ‘Barcelona Ballet’ company. In an exclusive interview, Corella explains the reasons behind his recent moves and gives us the low-down on the situation of the dance industry in our country.