vallès

Catalan society less discriminatory than most, say Muslim residents

July 31, 2015 08:11 PM | Valentina Marconi

Nowadays, multiple cultures, religions and traditions live side by side in the neighbourhoods of many European cities, and Catalonia is no exception, quite the contrary in fact. According to the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain, overall 1,858,409 Muslims live there. The majority of them are concentrated in Catalonia, a country with a long history of accommodating foreigners, where 509,333 followers of this religion dwell (out of a total population of 7.55 million people). Although acknowledging that individual acts of discrimination do occur, Muslims affirm that here the social climate is not filled with hatred. However, in the past few decades, 'anti-immigration discourses' have entered some isolated Catalan political parties' agendas and those whom we interviewed think that local media present a skewed picture of the Muslim community.

Jihadist cell which "wanted to attack" uncovered by Catalan Police

April 9, 2015 01:58 AM | ACN

The Catalan Police Force, Mossos d'Esquadra, detained on Wednesday in several cities across Greater Barcelona 11 people who were allegedly forming an Islamic terrorist cell. The cell was "operational" and "wanted to attack in Catalonia", according to the Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Ramon Espadaler. The alleged terrorists were "clearly connected to the Islamic State" and "supported its ideology", emphasised Espadaler. The cell "had 3 objectives": "recruiting young people and radicalising them", "sending some of these young people to Syria and Iraq", and preparing an attack in Catalonia. Despite this information, Espadaler highlighted that "at no time has this cell generated any kind of danger, as it has been under investigation and police surveillance for the last 13 months".

Minutes silence observed throughout Catalonia in tribute to Germanwings flight victims, many of them Catalans

March 25, 2015 09:50 PM | ACN

Town halls and the Catalan Parliament, but also private companies, public institutions and a high school related to the victims of the Germanwings aircraft have observed a minutes silence on Wednesday at noon, in tribute to the 150 people killed in the accident in the French Alps. At least 39 of the 51 victims with Spanish nationality were Catalans, although this figure is likely to increase in the coming hours. Many were businesspeople on their way to an agri-food fair in Cologne. Among the victims there was also a group of 16 high school students and 2 teachers from Germany, whom had spent an exchange week in Llinars del Vallès (Greater Barcelona). The high school that hosted them held a homage and mourning tribute. In addition, Barcelona's Liceu Opera Theatre also observed a minutes silence, since baritone Oleg Bryjak and mezzo Maria Radner, and her family, were among the victims.

Catalan pharmaceutical giant Grifols sees a 23% jump in net profit in the first half of 2014

July 31, 2014 09:29 PM | ACN / Neringa Sinkeviciute

During the first half of the year, the revenues of the Catalan multinational pharmaceutical company Grifols rose by 16.7% to €1.61 bilion, 75% of which came from the Bioscience division and 18% from Diagnostic. Compared to the first quarter, the proportion of total sales generated by each of the group’s divisions remains unchanged after the acquisition of Novartis' diagnostic business. The world´s third-largest blood-derivate product maker, Grifols obtained a net profit of €224.8 million, 23% more compared with the same period last year, as reported by the company to the Spanish Stock Exchange Authority (CNMV). These positive figures were achieved due to the maintenance of financial costs, made possible by improved financial conditions, despite having increased debt in absolute terms.

HP to set up its world centre for 3D printing in its Greater Barcelona offices

April 12, 2014 01:58 PM | ACN

Hewlett-Packard has announced that it will locate its world centre to develop 3D printing business in its facilities at Sant Cugat del Vallès, in Greater Barcelona, where it has already developed part of this technology. In fact, HP's Catalan offices are one of the multinational's main R&D centres at world level. HP also develops the technology for large-format printing in Greater Barcelona, employing some 350 engineers. In addition, it runs its marketing services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Catalonia. Now, HP has decided to foster its 3D printing business and Barcelona "will play a significant role", being the group's flagship for the research and development of this technology. HP explained that the main challenges engineers will have to face are the slow speed and low quality of the current 3D printing devices.

Grífols buys part of Novartis Diagnostics for $1.68 billion

November 11, 2013 06:13 PM | ACN

The Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols, based in Greater Barcelona, has bought part of the diagnostics unit of Swiss multinational Novartis for $1,675 million. Grífols has acquired products and ‘in vitro’ technology applied to diagnoses in the fields of blood transfusion and immunology, along with a production plant in California and offices in the US, Switzerland and Hong Kong. With the acquisition, the Grífols Diagnostic Division will represent $1 billion, 20% of the Catalan group’s total revenues. Grífols is the world’s third largest company in the production of blood-plasma derivatives. In the first half of 2013, Grífols registered a profit of €182.2 million, an increase of 36.9% on the same period of 2012.

Catalan success at the London Olympics marred by Spanish Government’s lack of support

August 14, 2012 03:29 PM | CNA / Laura Pous / David Tuxworth

Ivan Tibau, the Catalan Government’s Secretary of Sport, emphasises the “great effort” made by the Catalan Excutive to help the High Performance Sports Centre (CAR) and Catalan athletes compete in London 2012. The elite training centre did not receive funding from the Spanish Government for the last two years, amounting to €10.7 million. The Catalan Executive advanced the payment to keep the CAR running. Athletes trained at CAR made up 65% of medals won by the Spanish team at the London 2012 Olympics. Despite this, the Spanish Olympic Committee “closed the door” to the Catalan Government in regards to London 2012.

The Parliament approves the 2012 Spanish Government Budget without increasing investment in Catalonia

May 24, 2012 01:13 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Using its absolute majority, the People’s Party (PP) has approved the Spanish Government’s budget for the current year refusing 3,100 amendments from the opposition. Only 3 minor amendments from the opposition parties have been accepted. The budget does not respect the current legislation, which obliges to guarantee a minimum investment percentage to be made in Catalonia in order to compensate for an historical lack of money being put into the Autonomous Community. According to Catalan law, approved by the Spanish Parliament, Catalonia should receive at least 18.66% of all the territorial investment made throughout Spain; however it only receives 11.04%.

Grifols strengthens its presence in the Chinese market

May 22, 2012 03:33 PM | CNA / Laura Quintana

The Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols, third worldwide company in plasma derivatives, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Shanghai Blood Bank. The agreement, which strengthens the presence of the Catalan company in China, promotes blood genotyping research. The Chinese institution will use the Grifols’ genetic test BLOODchip in transfusion compatibility studies. Shanghai Blood Bank serves over 20 million people and receives more than 300.000 donations per year. In 2011, Grifols sales in China grew by 30%.