spanish prime minister

Puigdemont and Rajoy meet for the first time at tribute to Germanwings tragedy

March 23, 2016 06:25 PM | ACN

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and current Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy presided over the tribute to the victims of the Germanwings aircraft which crashed in the French Alps one year ago, on its way from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, with 150 on board. Both presidents exchanged “cordial” words during the institutional event but avoided commenting on any political issue, sources from the government stated. This Wednesday’s coincidence was the first meeting between Puigdemont and Rajoy since the Catalan President took office, on the 12th of January. The Catalan government’s spokeswoman, Neus Munté, noted that Rajoy didn’t call Puigdemont when he was instated as President or to “show condolence” after the coach crash which killed 13 international students this past Sunday in the south of Catalonia.

Rajoy doesn’t exclude putting himself forward for investiture

February 12, 2016 07:33 PM | ACN

Almost two months after the 20-D Spanish Elections, current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader, Pedro Sánchez, have met. After the encounter, which lasted less than half an hour, Rajoy announced that he may still put himself forward for investiture. “The most reasonable thing, in democratic terms, would be a government led by the People’s Party” he stated and added that PP won the 20-D elections and obtained “more than one million votes more” than PSOE. Regarding the approach towards Catalonia’s push for independence, Rajoy said they hadn’t talked about it but emphasised the commitment of both leaders to “complying with the Spanish Constitution”. Rajoy also referred to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s statement to Barcelona’s diplomats, considering it “lamentable and unconstitutional” to have told the consuls that “Catalonia walks towards independence”.

“Defending national unity” one of Rajoy’s main conditions for reaching government alliances

February 11, 2016 06:51 PM | ACN

“Defending national unity” is one of the key points that current Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy established in the People’s Party (PP) proposal for reaching agreements in order to form a stable government in Spain. A national unity “which is threatened”, according to Rajoy. Besides fighting Catalonia’s push for independence, Rajoy’s proposal also includes fighting towards economic recovery, strengthening the basis of the welfare state, fighting against terrorism and reinforcing the democratic bond between citizens and politicians. PP’s leader handed over the document to anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans leader Albert Rivera, with whom he held a meeting today. The proposal has also been sent to Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez, who is currently attempting to form government. 

Rajoy may take the processing of the laws to start Catalonia’s disconnection from Spain before the court

February 4, 2016 06:54 PM | ACN

The current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, announced that the processing of the three laws which would prepare Catalonia for its disconnection process from Spain may be taken before the court. According to Rajoy, Spain’s legal services will analyse these laws and if evidence that they “could contradict what it is said in the Constitution” is found “the Spanish government will act as is has done up to now”. “The government is temporary, but the State, the Constitution and the laws are still in force” he warned. Rajoy also announced that the executive will approve this Friday a conflict of jurisdiction to be presented to the Spanish Constitutional Court regarding the creation of the new Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

The Spanish Government may impugn Puigdemont’s taking office

January 13, 2016 05:08 PM | ACN

Current Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy insisted that the Spanish Government’s legal services will “write a report” to evaluate the procedure used in new Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont’s, take office. During the ceremony, Puigdemont didn’t mention Spain’s King nor the Spanish Constitution. “According to this report we will make the appropriate decisions, following the current legislation and the general interests of all the Spanish citizens” he warned. Despite petitions from he other groups in Spanish Parliament, Rajoy admitted that “so far” he “doesn’t intend” to meet with Puigdemont. 

Mas won’t call for elections before the deadline

December 29, 2015 06:22 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Current Catalan President Artur Mas assured that he “would make a fool” of himself if he were to call elections before using up the time to constitute a new government, which legally finishes on the 10th of January. Until then “there is life”, he assured and admitted that cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’s only choice is to wait for radical CUP’s decision after their General Assembly ended in a tie. Mas insisted that elections are not his “priority” and warned that CUP could “cause” new elections but not “a change in President” as this would “derail” the pro-independence process. According to Mas, ‘Junts Pel Sí’s proposal “has long been studied” and as long as CUP “is within its right to accept it or refuse it” the cross-party list also has “the right to say this is how far we have come”, he concluded.

PSOE won’t negotiate “Spain’s territorial integrity”

December 28, 2015 02:44 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE, will “tackle its legitimate responsibility” to offer an alternative government to the ruling People’s Party but not “at any price”. “We won’t dialogue on questions such as territorial integrity” warned PSOE’s leader Pedro Sánchez. “The coexistence crisis in Catalonia will only be solved with a constitutional reform and not with a referendum on breaking Spain apart” as this would be “the start of new breakdowns”, he stated. In relation to this, Sánchez assured that PSOE won’t reach any agreement with any party which supports a referendum, referring to alternative left Podemos. “We are for the right to decide but for all Spanish citizens”, he stated and assured that the “brightest pages in Spain’s history” have been written through dialogue. 

‘Ciutadans’ proposes a triangular alliance to fight pro-independence forces

December 23, 2015 05:16 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The results of the 20-D Spanish Elections will force the political parties to reach agreements, as none of them have obtained an absolute majority of 175 MPs. Anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’, which obtained 40 MPs in the 20-D, have proposed a coalition whereby they, the conservative People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) would unite against “those who want to break the country apart”. “If there isn’t a roadmap for change, there won’t ever be stability and the populists will take advantage of our system’s decadence” warned Ciutadans’ leader, Albert Rivera, and added that “Spain is not negotiable”. Ciutadans’ offer comes after the PSOE refused the PP’s proposal to reach an agreement. The PSOE’s leader, Pedro Sánchez, insisted on their ‘no’ to Mariano Rajoy and assured that they would work to form a government of change. 

Party review – PSC: “Catalonia won’t bear four more years of Rajoy”

December 17, 2015 03:10 PM | Sara Prim

PSC is the Catalan branch of the Spanish Socialist Party, a force which has alternated in the Spanish Government with the People’s Party (PP) for the last 32 years. Their influence in Catalonia started to decline in 2010 in favour of nationalist and pro-independence parties. Now the Socialists are the third force in the Catalan Parliament and the opposition party in Spain’s Congreso de los Diputados. However, many polls claim their key position in the Spanish chamber might be overtaken by alternative-left Podemos or anti-Catalan Nationalist Ciutadans, both running for the Spanish Elections on the 20-D for the first time. PSC’s candidate for Barcelona, former Spanish Minister of Defence Carme Chacón, is convinced that the Socialists are the only guarantee “to chase Mariano Rajoy out” from the Spanish government and restore “the dialogue” between Catalonia and Spain. 

Spanish Constitutional Court suspends Parliament's declaration of independence

November 11, 2015 08:22 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) unanimously approved the appeal presented by the Spanish Government to suspend the Parliament's declaration of independence. The TC will now apply article 161.2 of the Spanish Constitution, which establishes the automatic suspension of any resolution appealed by the Spanish Government, and suspend the declaration, initially for five months. The approved appeal also warns Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, current President Artur Mas and all the members of the executive and Parliament's Bureau that those who won't adhere to the TC's resolutions could be fined or suspended. In this vein, Spain's public prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday that all the police bodies in Spain, including the Catalan Police, had been urged to investigate and denounce the possible "sedition crimes" committed in Catalonia.

Catalonia’s independence the focus of Spain’s electoral campaign

November 2, 2015 03:08 PM | Sara Prim

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has started his round of meetings with Spanish socialist party PSOE, Anti-Catalan nationalism ‘Ciutadans’, alternative left ‘Podemos’ and Spanish left IU, the main political forces running in the 20-D Spanish elections. The aim of these meetings was to set a common programme to deal with Catalonia’s push for independence, which is outstanding as the centre of the electoral campaign. “I take responsibility for leading the answer to this defiance”stated Rajoy and added that the Spanish State “has by far enough mechanisms to successfully face this situation”. Rajoy assured that during these meetings with the other political parties he asked his interlocutors to “trust”these mechanisms and avoid “unproductive debates”on such matters, referring to the possible application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, suggested by Ciutadans’leader Albert Rivera, which would imply the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy. 

Juncker: "We won't accept divisions in Europe anymore"

October 21, 2015 06:05 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker assured that he is for a "unified Europe" and against facing "more divisions" in Europe. "We won't accept divisions in Europe anymore. We already suffered a lot during the Second World War, after the war and during the Cold War". Juncker made these statements this morning at an event in Madrid, just before attending the European People's Party meeting that will be held in the Spanish capital and that is set to pass a declaration in defence of the unity of the EU's Member States. Juncker emphasised that "Spain is not a compilation of divisions and compartments, but a coherent set" and took the chance to support Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's administration as head of the Spanish executive. 

President Mas: The Spanish State “will do everything to get rid of me”

September 30, 2015 12:20 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalan President Artur Mas reacted this Wednesday to his summonsing by Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC). “Legally I didn’t disobey. Politically, there was a democratic rebellion against the State” he stated in a radio interview with Catalunya Radio. The charges are “the reaction of an arrogant, furious, clumsy state, whose pride was hurt, which is incapable of dialogue and which will do everything in its hands to get rid of me” he summarised. On the other hand, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy considers it “false and unfair” to attribute the court’s decision to the Spanish government, as in Spain there is a “separation of powers”.