spanish senate

Felipe VI praises "a united and diverse Spain" in an entirely-Spanish speech referring only to a single nation

June 19, 2014 06:36 PM | ACN

The new King of Spain, Felipe VI, highlighted the unity of the country but also its diversity in his first speech as monarch. In a ceremony before the Spanish Parliament and Senate on Thursday morning, Felipe VI gave a speech portraying the guidelines of his reign, just after swearing loyalty to the Constitution, including the Autonomous Communities, as he stressed. He defined himself as "a Constitutional King", who is "the symbol" of "the unity and permanence of Spain". However, he also highlighted that "unity does not mean uniformity" and he pointed out that the Constitution asks "to respect and protect" the different languages in Spain, which are "a shared heritage" and "bridges for dialogue". Despite praising "diversity", Felipe VI delivered his speech entirely in Spanish, despite a small final greeting in Catalan, Basque and Galician. In addition, he defined Spain as "a great nation" to be "proud of", without mentioning Spain's pluri-national status.

Spanish Prime Minister links Crimea's case to Catalonia's self-determination

March 11, 2014 09:12 PM | ACN

Answering a question about dialogue and democracy regarding Catalonia and Spain, the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy talked about Crimea, where there is a pre-war situation. On Tuesday before the Spanish Senate, Rajoy has once again closed the door to any talks with the Catalan Government to hold a legal and agreed consultation vote, similar to the one scheduled in Scotland. Instead, Spain's PM preferred to use as an example the current situation in Crimea, where the regional parliament has declared independence and organised within 10 days a ratification referendum while pro-Russian troops have occupied the peninsula and a war with the Ukrainian Army could start at any moment. Rajoy highlighted that the international community has appealed to the territorial integrity of states in this case. He was answering a question from Josep Lluís Cleries, Senator of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government.  Cleries asked him "to be brave" and "talk in depth" with the Catalan President.

Spain’s Prime Minister Rajoy rejects a constitutional change to fit Catalonia better within Spain

November 5, 2013 10:28 PM | ACN

The Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, considered that “to reform the Constitution in order to satisfy those who will not be satisfied”, referring to the citizens supporting Catalonia’s independence from Spain, who represent more than 50% of Catalans according to polls, would be “a great mistake”. Answering a question from the former Catalan President José Montilla, Rajoy stated before the Senate that “Spain and national sovereignty are not negotiable”. However, despite these red lines, Rajoy affirmed that his attitude towards Catalonia is “to talk” in order to find a negotiated way out. More than 80% of Catalans would like to hold a self-determination vote in Catalonia.

"Who the heck is funding whom? It's Catalonia that funds Spain" Mas answered Montoro

July 10, 2013 11:16 PM | CNA

On Tuesday, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, stated before the Senate that the Spanish Government “was financing the services” the Catalan Executive provides. In an angry and agitated tone, Montoro concluded the intervention shouting “Do you understand?! Don’t you understand?!” to the Catalan Senator who had asked him about the recentralisation of power. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, answered the Spanish Finance Minister in a calm but angry tone: “the Catalan Executive finances public services thanks to the effort Catalan citizens make each day by producing, working and paying taxes. And from all the taxes paid by Catalan citizens, a large amount, as much as €16 billion leaves Catalonia and never comes back [after the Spanish Government’s redistribution]. Who the heck is funding whom? It’s Catalonia that funds the Spanish State from many points of view”.

From now on the Catalan language will be used in the Spanish Senate

January 19, 2011 12:28 AM | CNA / R. Pi / G. Pericay Coll

For the first time in the post Franco era, Catalan, Basque and Galician will be spoken at the Spanish Territorial High Chamber’s plenary sessions. Although the languages will still be banned in the Government’s control sessions at the Senate, from now on they will be allowed in the Senate’s regular plenary sessions. Although these languages are official in many parts of Spain, up till now, only the Spanish language was permitted to be used in the Senate. Using these other official languages in Spanish-level institutions like the Senate is an historic claim from a wide range of Catalan society.