Catalan Public Diplomacy Council promotes the projection of civil society organisations abroad

February 27, 2014 08:34 PM | ACN

The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) has launched its first call for applications for ‘Grants for the International Projection of Catalan Civil Society Organisations’, designed to cover the participation costs of such organisations in international meetings. The grants will be managed by the Federation of Internationally Recognized Catalan Organisations (FOCIR) and applications can be submitted until the 27th of March. The Secretary General of Diplocat, Albert Royo, detailed the call on Wednesday evening. He stressed that activities aimed towards international public opinion could have a significant impact on presenting Catalonia to the world.

Catalan school system against Hispanicisation and the Spanish Government’s Education Reform

February 11, 2014 04:04 PM | ACN

On Tuesday Catalonia’s education stakeholders – including unions, pedagogic organisations and parent associations – asked the Catalan Executive and Parliament to lead “the boycott” of the Spanish Government’s Education Reform, known as LOMQE. This reform aims to recentralise education powers, foster religion and impose Spanish as a language of instruction in Catalonia. Furthermore, on Monday evening thousands of people demonstrated in front of Catalonia’s High Court (TSJC) in support of the current school model in Catalonia, which is based on the linguistic immersion principle that guarantees the knowledge of both Spanish and Catalan. Political parties, trade unions, cultural associations and teaching organisations were protesting against the TSJC’s recent ruling that imposed a requirement that 25% of a school’s curriculum be taught in Spanish if a single pupil asks for it. The TSJC was interpreting a judgement by the Spanish Supreme Court, framed in a broader offensive against Catalan language.

Grassroots platform collects signatures for Catalonia’s independence

January 13, 2014 07:50 PM | ACN

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the grassroots organisation that organised the two massive demonstrations for Catalonia’s independence in 2012 and 2013, is working on another initiative to allow Catalan citizens to hold a self-determination vote. This past weekend it installed 700 stands throughout Catalonia with 3,000 attorneys-in-fact to collect signatures for an independence referendum and, if this is deemed impossible, the unilateral declaration of independence, in accordance with international law. The ‘Sign a Vote for Independence’ initiative started last June and will continue during the upcoming months, but on Saturday and Sunday, a special push was given to boost the process. The ANC said the massive signature collecting had been “a success”. Figures will be provided next week although the campaign is still ongoing.

The amount of young Catalans working abroad has increased by 42.46% in the past four years

September 4, 2013 08:18 PM | Julian Scully

Young people are increasingly abandoning Catalonia in order to find employment abroad. During the past four years, the amount of Catalans between the ages of 15 and 34 that are working abroad has increased by 42.46%, according to a study released by the youth trade union Avalot. This figure represents an increase of 35,547 in 2009 to 50,640 in 2013 – a rise of 15,093 people. The National Coordinator of Youth Action of Spain’s largest trade union (Comisiones Obreras – CCOO), Aina Vidal, spoke with the CNA and highlighted how this emigration “is by no means a choice”, and that “these are young, highly qualified graduates that are leaving because they have no future here”.

Catalonia mourns passing of the International Brigades Civil War doctor Moisès Broggi

January 3, 2013 02:22 AM | CNA

Civil society and politicians joined the family of the doctor, who was 104 years old, at his funeral in Barcelona. Moisès Broggi died on the last day of 2012 at his home in Barcelona. He was renowned for his work as a surgeon and doctor during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) -and afterwards. During the war, he was head surgeon of the International Brigades that fought against Franco, and he developed several important medical innovations. Despite being 104 years old, he kept up a very busy social and political life, running as candidate for the Senate for the left-wing Pro-Independence Party Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and participating in several conferences and events. Catalan President Artur Mas paid tribute to the doctor, saying that Catalans should “follow his example”.

Almost 30% of Catalans are at risk of social exclusion

October 17, 2012 01:20 AM | CNA / Laura Quintana

29.5% of Catalans are at risk of social exclusion. This is the conclusion of the 2011 survey of living conditions and habits of the population of Catalonia. This percentage is related to the AROPE rate used in the European Union which not only analyses the income poverty level but also looks at severe material deprivation and households with very low work intensity. The results of the survey highlight that Catalonia was in a worse situation in 2011 than Spain (with 26.7% of people at risk of social exclusion) or the European Union (21.6%). Furthermore, 21.9% of Catalans live on an income below the poverty threshold.

Catalan civil society asks for a new fiscal agreement with Spain

February 1, 2012 08:54 PM | CNA / Josep Ramon Torné

Catalonia gives away between 8% and 9% of its GDP every year. The main actors in Catalan civil society got together to formally push for a new fiscal agreement with Spain, through which Catalonia would continue transferring money to poorer Spanish regions, but not at current levels. The meeting brought together the leaders of the main business-owners association and the two main trade unions, as well as intellectuals from Barcelona’s Athenaeum, business people, and politicians from every political party except those classed as Spanish nationalists. The meeting was similar to the one held 113 years ago.

Catalonia’s independence: the Catalan Parliament says “no” and the popular consultation process says “yes”

April 15, 2011 02:12 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Parliament rejected a law proposal on Catalonia’s independence three days after the popular consultation process on the issue ended with a clear “yes”. This civil society voting was not an official referendum and it was not organised by public powers. It took place over the course of 18 months, and Barcelona closed the process on Sunday. 21% of the electoral census turned out (885.000 citizens) and 90% of the voters backed Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Members of the Catalan Government cast their vote, including the President.