spanish president

British MPs accuse Rajoy of breaching freedom of speech by prosecuting Forcadell

May 3, 2017 10:01 AM | ACN

The APPG group on Catalonia, created last March in the British Parliament by MPs from the main parties in Westminster, have sent a letter to Spain’s President, Mariano Rajoy, expressing their “concern” over the prosecution of the Catalan Parliament’s president, Carme Forcadell, who faces court “for simply permitting the debate” on independence in the Chamber. The signers consider it “a clear breach of the fundamental democratic right to free speech” and “urge” the Spanish Government “to drop the prosecution”. Forcadell was brought before the court in December accused of disobedience for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote among the Catalan MPs on the 27th of July and will face trial again on Monday for the same case.

Rajoy's promises to Catalonia absent from budget

April 4, 2017 05:49 PM | ACN

Spain’s budget for 2017 allocates €1.14 billion to invest in Catalonia, €30 million less than last year. However, as a percentage, the figure represents 13.4% of the total, which is higher than in 2016, which saw only 10.7% investment for Catalonia. The allocation is still below Catalonia’s contribution to Spain's GDP, which is 19%. Although most of the investment is oriented toward infrastructures, the figures are a far cry from the major investment that Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, announced last week for Catalonia. Indeed, he said that €4.2 billion will arrive in Catalonia by 2020. Spain's Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, admitted that the budget doesn’t include the promised measures and assured that the investment “will move forward in 2018”.

Rajoy promises investing on infrastructures to weaken independence aspirations

March 28, 2017 02:14 PM | ACN

Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, announced that his Government plans to invest €4.2 billion by 2020 to improve Catalonia’s infrastructures. The most important part would go to the short-distance train network, operated by Spanish Public Train operator, RENFE. Indeed, this piece of infrastructure has been one of the historic demands of Catalan citizens, after years of underinvestment and continuous incidents. According to Rajoy, €1.9 billion would be invested during this term of office and €2 billion more by 2025. In a speech he gave within the seminar ‘Connected to the future’, held this Tuesday in Barcelona, Rajoy expressed his “personal commitment” to turn the short-distance train network into a “realistic, viable and verifiable” piece of infrastructure. Earlier this week, the Catalan Government already expressed that they had “few expectations” regarding Rajoy’s promises and pointed out that previous investment plans haven’t been fulfilled for decades.

ERC admits having “few expectations” regarding Rajoy’s promises

March 27, 2017 06:30 PM | ACN

Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, will visit Catalonia this Tuesday “to discuss infrastructures”, Spanish governing People’s Party (PP) confirmed last week. However, left wing pro-independence ERC already admitted having “few expectations” regarding the visit and the measures Rajoy may announce. “If he expects to buy us off through promises that won't be kept, he better think twice,” said ERC’s spokesman, Sergi Sabrià. According to ERC, one of the main parties within the governing coalition ‘Junts Pel Sí’, the only solution to “the Catalan problem” will come by putting out the ballot boxes in a referendum. “There is no other option,” stated Sabrià. However, ERC’s spokesman insisted that they will listen to Rajoy’s offer, as they have “always done” but insisted that the party “won’t give up on anything” either.


The Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a key, long-awaited infrastructure

March 27, 2017 06:00 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The so-called Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a long-awaited piece of infrastructure which is set to transport freight and passengers non-stop from Gibraltar to Central Europe along the Mediterranean coastline, is one of the most representative examples of Spain’s lack of investment in Catalonia. Despite being essential not only for the Spanish economy but for the entire European economy as well, its construction has been repeatedly delayed. Even the European Commission has called for “cooperation between administrations” to implement the Corridor, which is regarded as a key infrastructure for Europe. Moreover, the delays in the construction of the Corridor are affecting private investment, the Catalan Government has warned. According to Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, the pending business investments are worth €300 million, of which €20 million corresponds to an investment from the German multinational Basf, which announced it will expand one of its plants in Tarragona.

Second day of Spanish investiture debate centres on Catalonia's push for independence

October 27, 2016 07:27 PM | ACN/ Marina Force

Catalonia’s demand to hold a referendum and the imputation of several Catalan representatives were two common issues during the last part of the second day of the debate to elect a new Spanish premier. The divergence of opinions between the Catalan pro-independence forces and the Conservative People’s Party were once again evident. While the current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, denied the judicialisation of the Catalan politics and expressed his “willingness to dialogue”, despite the Catalan Government policy of “all or nothing”, the spokesman of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat), Francesc Homs, accused PP of being “the motor of the Catalan disconnection”. Mariano will have to face two more days of debate to be invested as President, as the politician will predictably lose the vote taking place this evening. 

Rajoy to be invested as Spanish President on Saturday

October 26, 2016 06:40 PM | ACN

Current Spanish President and Conservative People’s Party (PP) leader, Mariano Rajoy, will be reinvested as President of the Spanish Government next Saturday. Although the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) has announced that it is going to vote ‘no’ in the first round of the debate on investiture, this Wednesday afternoon, the party explained on the 23rd of October, after its federal committee, that it will abstain and facilitate the PP to form government in the second round. Currently the PSOE has faced tensions with the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), which on Tuesday approved a resolution to say ‘no’ to Rajoy’s investiture in the second vote. Despite the Catalan Socialists’ opposition and the opposition of some other independent MPs and the former PSOE leader, Pedro Sánchez, Mariano Rajoy is likely to be sworn in on Saturday, putting an end to 10 months of political blockade in Spain.   

Catalan Socialist Party heavyweights maintain their 'no’ to Rajoy’s investiture

October 3, 2016 11:06 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The PSC, the Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party have insisted on their ‘no’ to reinstating current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy. “We can’t betray our principles”, stated this Monday one of the candidates to lead PSC in the upcoming primary elections, Núria Parlon. In a clear move to differentiate themselves from the overall Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) position, which is to abstain in the upcoming investiture debate and allow the formation of a government in Spain, the PSC emphasised their “commitment to the citizens’ mandate” and their predisposition to offer “an alternative government to that of the Conservative People’s Party (PP)”. The Catalan Socialists expressed their position after the resignation of PSOE’s leader, Pedro Sánchez, who stepped down on Saturday after a week of turmoil within the Spanish Socialist Party.


Spain responds to Parliament’s vote on pro-independence roadmap by appealing to the TC again

July 27, 2016 07:10 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government has again turned to the court, this time to respond to this Wednesday’s approval of the pro-independence roadmap by the Catalan Chamber. Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, has already ordered the State Attorney to write a document which will be approved this Friday by the Spanish Cabinet. The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) repeatedly insisted that any declaration or action towards the constitution of the Catalan Republic will be invalidated, since this would have emerged from the pro-independence proposal agreed by the Parliament on the 9th of November and which is considered unconstitutional by the TC. Rajoy also called the other main leaders in the Spanish Parliament to communicate to them his decision.

Third elections in Spain would be “terrible”, says Catalan Government

July 12, 2016 07:03 PM | ACN

Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté stressed the need for the Spanish parties to reach an agreement to guarantee the governability of the State and added that it would be “terrible” to call for General Elections again. Munté stated that the Spanish Government has been “inactive” for many months and warned that not taking decisions has consequences for all citizens. Munté’s statements come on the same day that current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, started his round of talks after the 26-J Spanish Elections. This Tuesday he met with Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, which came fourth in the last Elections and alternative left coalition ‘Unidos Podemos’, who were the third force in the Spanish Parliament.  

Pro-independence parties won’t be invited to lunch with Obama on his visit to Spain

July 8, 2016 02:31 PM | ACN

Liberal Convergència (CDC), left-wing pro-independence ERC and the Basque Nationalist Party (PNB) have been excluded from the lunch organised on the occasion of the US President, Barack Obama’s visit to Spain. Spain’s King will preside over the event, to be held on Monday, and according to the Royal Household the reason for not inviting these parties is that Obama was interested in meeting the leaders of the most important political groups in the Spanish Parliament. Thus, current Spanish President and leader of the Conservative People’s Party (PP), Mariano Rajoy, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Iglesias, leader of alternative left coalition Unidos-Podemos and Albert Rivera, from Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ will attend the lunch, as well as several acting ministers.

Rajoy warns he “won’t renounce his right to rule” but admits to being “open to all formulas”

June 27, 2016 07:21 PM | ACN

Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, stated that he “won’t renounce his right to rule” after his party, the Conservative People’s Party (PP) emerged victorious with 135 MPs from the Spanish Elections but without an absolute majority. Rajoy’s first choice is to reach an agreement with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’ but admitted that “if this would not be possible” he is open to governing in minority with occasional support from these forces. He also opened the door to possible agreements with ‘Ciutadans’, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNB) and the Canarian Coalition (CC), which would give them 175 MPs, only one seat away from the absolute majority in the 350-seat Spanish Parliament. According to Rajoy’s agenda, “it will be essential” to reach an agreement within a month.

Pro-independence parties see Spain as “unreformable” while Rajoy aims to “defend all Spaniards"

June 27, 2016 01:01 AM | Sara Prim

The Spanish Elections prove that Spain remains unchangeable, according to Catalonia’s pro-independence parties. “The only change possible is through building an independent and republican Catalonia”, stated Catalan Vice President and pro-independence ERC’s leader, Oriol Junqueras, in reference to alternative left ‘En Comú Podem’, who have repeatedly insisted on holding a referendum on independence agreed with Spain. In this vein, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont noted that the possibility of ultimately holding a referendum “is not in good health” and lamented that “nothing has changed” in Spain. On the other hand, the leader of the PP and current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, celebrated his victory in Madrid and assured that his party “will defend all Spaniards”. The Conservative leader pointed out that “democrats and freedom” have won the election.



Rajoy on Fernández Díaz’s smear conspiracy against pro-independence parties: “I just found out yesterday”

June 22, 2016 06:27 PM | ACN

Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, reacted this Wednesday to the recordings published on Tuesday by Spanish newspaper ‘Público’ which revealed a conversation between current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office, Daniel de Alfonso Laso, about trying to smear Catalonia’s main pro-independence parties left-wing ERC and liberal Convergència. “I just found out yesterday”, stated Rajoy and added did he didn’t know “who was Director of Catalonia’s Anti-fraud Office nor that this position even existed”. The scandal comes five days before the 26-J Spanish Elections and puts Fernández Díaz in a very sensitive position, as he is running for the Spanish Elections in Barcelona province.