spanish nationalism

The Spanish Government states it “will never accept an agreed” self-determination referendum

September 10, 2013 10:00 PM | ACN

The day before the National Day of Catalonia and the ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ human chain, Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García Margallo, stated that the Spanish Government “will never accept an agreed” self-determination referendum with Catalonia. The statement comes a few days after it was revealed that the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Catalan President Artur Mas have been negotiating to find an agreed way to solve the current situation. He also stated that “any independence process would have to come from a unilateral declaration of independence”, which would have “catastrophic consequences” for Spain and “particularly for Catalonia”. However, Margallo added that a new territorial model and financial scheme should be negotiated to stop “the detachment” from Spain that exists in Catalonia.

A new museum shows Barcelona in 1700 and explains the military and political defeat of 1714

September 10, 2013 06:47 PM | ACN

Barcelona has unveiled a new museum located in the Born neighbourhood, next to the Gothic quarter, which explores how life was in the city during the early 18th century, and will exhibit 8,000 objects. The Born Cultural Centre shows the neighbourhood’s ruins dating from 1714, when residents were forced to destroy their own homes and leave without any compensation after Barcelona’s military defeat. Next to the area, the largest urban military citadel in Europe was built, being part of the fierce repression that the Bourbon troops inflicted on Catalan citizens. From that moment onwards, Catalonia lost its self-government institutions, its own laws and freedoms, and Catalan language was banned and persecuted with the aim to homogenise the recently-formed Spain.

The Spanish Government bans the Catalan Way towards independence in Valencia for “security reasons”

September 9, 2013 09:48 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government had initially authorised the demonstration in the Valencian Country (also called Valencian Community). However, on Monday, two days before the peaceful event, the Sub-Delegation of the Spanish Executive in the Province of Castelló, decided to ban the human chain in its territory for “security reasons”. The ‘Catalan Way towards independence’ is a peaceful human chain that calls for Catalonia’s independence from Spain, and is inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’. It will cross Catalonia from north to south, a distance of 400 kilometres. In other Catalan-speaking territories, which were many years ago under Catalan rule such as the Valencian Country or the French Catalonia, human chains will also be organised by local organisations.

Don’t trivialise Nazism – European Commission warns Spain

September 2, 2013 06:31 PM | ACN

The European Commission has stated that the “the intentional public condoning, denial or gross trivialisation of the Nazi crimes is to be made criminally punishable”. Answering a complaint by Catalan MEPs about the honours received by a brotherhood of soldiers and supporters of the ‘División Azul’, a division of Spanish volunteers that fought in the Nazi army, Brussels warns that next year it will be able to fine member states that do no prosecute “incitement to violence and hate”.

Pro-independence supporters prepare a 400 km-long human chain on Catalonia’s National Day

August 23, 2013 09:32 PM | ACN

This coming 11th of September – which is Catalonia’s National Day – pro-independence supporters have organised a gigantic human chain called the ‘Catalan Way Towards Independence’ that will cross Catalonia from North to South stretching 400 km and passing through some of the main cities, such as Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona. After having organised the 1.5 million-strong demonstration of 2012, the civil society platform Catalan National Assembly is preparing a new massive demonstration that calls for independence from Spain. This year’s peculiar demonstration is inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’ of 1989, which gathered 2 million people forming a 670 km-long human chain crossing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The ‘Baltic Way’ was organised exactly 24 years ago and issued a manifesto that read “a common European home can only by set up if all European nations are granted a free right to self-determination”.

More than half of recently graduated Spanish Police agents to be sent to Catalonia

July 29, 2013 09:25 PM | ACN

The Spanish National Police has allocated more than half of its recently graduated agents to be sent to Catalonia. Of the 418 that passed the police training this year, 231 are destined to work in Catalonia, a figure which represents 55% of the total. The Director General of the Spanish Police, Ignacio Cosidó, stated how these figures show that the force “has a strong willingness to remain in Catalonia”. He also added that the Spanish Government prioritises security within Catalonia. However, the Catalan Police, called the Mossos d’Esquadra, has the majority of police power in Catalonia, except customs control and the fight against international and organised crime. In the rest of Spain – except the Basque Country – Spanish Police does the majority of the police work.

The Catalan Government will totally modify the "file of endorsements" after the controversy

July 10, 2013 01:07 AM | CNA

The Catalan Executive announced the creation of a website showing the support of social organisations, NGOs and private companies for its policies, named the “file of endorsements”. The Catalan Government’s official aim was to foster participation as well as gather endorsement for its policies. The idea was heavily criticised by some opposition parties and some Madrid-based media. They considered the website to be an anti-democratic measure. According to them, it would split society into two sides: those backing the Government and “being good Catalans” and those going against it and being “bad Catalans”. The Catalan Executive admitted that it was quite shocked with the controversy, since other governments in Spain have published similar lists of supporters. However, it announced that it will totally modify the project.

The Catalan Ombudsman states its resolutions cost 14 times less than those of the Spanish Ombudsman

June 28, 2013 11:37 PM | CNA

The Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, accused the Spanish Government of trying “to manipulate” data in its report last week, in order to push forward a recentralisation reform, which “goes against the self-government principle”. Ribó explained that the Spanish Ombudsman undertook 33,849 actions in 2012, which means each action cost an average of €428. In addition, it refused to accept 20,164 complaints. Meanwhile, the Catalan Ombudsman undertook 25,073 actions, with a cost of €279 each. The Catalan institution only rejected 267 complaints. Regarding resolutions and recommendations, the Spanish Ombudsman issued 548 while the Catalan body issued 3,635. This means that each resolution by the Spanish body cost €26,447 while the Catalan’s cost €1,925, which is 13.75 times less.

The Catalan President to formally ask Madrid for a vote after the first meeting of the Self-Determination Pact

June 27, 2013 12:24 AM | CNA

The participants to the so-called National Alliance for the Self-Determination Right have met for the first time, bringing together almost 50 entities, including political parties, business associations, trade unions, social organisations and cultural institutions. This transversal initiative gathering together a wide part of Catalan society aims to reach an internal consensus on how to proceed in order to allow Catalans to vote on their collective future. Attendees agreed to ask the former President of the Catalan Parliament, Joan Rigol, to draft a text expressing the “common denominators” of the participants. In addition, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, will send a letter to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, making a formal petition for the organisation of a self-determination vote in Catalonia.

Catalonia rejects giving away power recognised by its main law and regrets the Spanish Government's recentralisation

June 22, 2013 12:00 AM | CNA

On Friday, the Spanish Government approved a €37.7 billion reform of Spain’s public sector which fosters the elimination of Autonomous Community bodies considered to be “redundant”. Instead of directly obliging the Autonomous Communities to eliminate them – which might be very tricky legally speaking, the Spanish Executive will link their suppression to the deficit targets allowed to the regional governments and the funds provided. However, in the case of Catalonia, most of the bodies included in the reform are recognised by Catalonia’s main law, approved in 2006 by the Spanish Parliament and through a binding referendum. The Catalan Government and most of the political parties are accusing the Spanish Executive of trying to recentralise Spain. In addition, the Catalan President said that unfortunately Madrid “teaches lessons” but “does not do its homework” and eliminates Ministries without competences.

55.6% of Catalans would support independence from Spain in a referendum while 23.4% would oppose it

June 21, 2013 01:43 AM | CNA

According to an opinion poll from the Catalan Polling Centre (CEO), the Catalan political landscape would change, since the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) would would become the largest force in the Catalan Parliament after doubling the number of its MPs compared to the electoral results from last November. Meanwhile, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which has been running the Catalan Government since 2010, would continue to lose support. However, parties supporting Catalonia’s independence increase their total support while the number of those defending Spain’s unity drops. The CEO thinks the data show that over the last 9 months, the support for independence remains “stable” in a hypothetical referendum, ranging between 54% and 57%. However, those opposing independence grew from 20.7% to 23.4%, while the number of undecided citizens decreased to 15%.

David Cameron: "let the people decide" and do not "ignore questions of nationality, independence, identity"

June 13, 2013 01:06 AM | CNA

The British Prime Minister David Cameron answered a question referring to Scotland’s self-determination process and he indirectly compared it to Catalonia’s situation. He stated that he “doesn’t believe” that trying “to ignore these questions of nationality, independence, identity” is the right way. Cameron thinks “it’s right to make your arguments, take them on and then you let the people decide”. However, without being asked about it, he linked it to the Catalan case by adding he “would never presume to tell people in Spain how to meet these challenges themselves”. He concluded by saying that “it’s a matter for the Spanish Government and the Spanish Prime Minister” to decide how to handle the situation.

Brussels' main think-tank CEPS recommends that Spain and Catalonia name "an external mediator"

June 11, 2013 12:51 AM | CNA

In an interview with ACN, the Head of the EU Foreign Policy Unit of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Steven Blockmans argued that “the European Union or the United Nations could play this role” if “both parties, including Madrid, voluntarily accept it”. Besides, Blockmans explained that Catalonia’s and Scotland’s self-determination processes and the possibility that they become independent states “is being debated” in Brussels circles, and it is even mentioned “often”. In addition, he also stated that if Madrid agrees, “a summit would be enough” to take “the political decision” to allow an independent Catalonia to become an EU Member State.

Political parties agree on a common strategy to face the Spanish Government's Education Law against the Catalan language

May 29, 2013 01:23 AM | CNA

The parties defending the current Catalan school model, which represent 80% of Catalonia’s Parliament, met on Tuesday to discuss how to face the Spanish Government’s Education Reform, known as LOMCE. They all agreed to act together in Madrid to try to change the law. The Catalan Government proposed modifying the reform in the Spanish Parliament in order to make it honour Catalonia’s main law – approved via a binding referendum – which clearly states that Catalan is the language of instruction. The Catalan school model is based on the linguistic immersion principle, guaranteeing equal opportunities and social cohesion. The Spanish Executive’s Education Reform aims to stop linguistic immersion and allow parents to choose Spanish as their children’s language of instruction.

The Spanish Government's Delegate in Catalonia pays tribute to Hitler's soldiers

May 17, 2013 01:16 AM | CNA

María de los Llanos de Luna, from the People’s Party (PP), gave a diploma to a brotherhood of the ‘Divisón Azul’, a division of Spanish volunteers who fought in the Nazi army during the Second World War. De Luna is the top representative of the Spanish Government in Catalonia and she is known for her Spanish nationalism and anti-Catalan identity stance. The news has outraged the rest of the Catalan political parties, who have asked for her immediate resignation. Furthermore, the 12 members of the brotherhood which received the diploma were wearing the Falange uniform, which was the only party allowed during Franco’s Fascist dictatorship. Neither the PP nor the Spanish Government have commented on the news or the resignation demands.