PP chooses controversial former Mayor to run in Catalan elections, despite his xenophobic statements

July 28, 2015 09:53 PM | ACN

The conservative People's Party – which runs the Spanish Government – has chosen Xavier García Albiol, whose statements have been called xenophobic by many, to top its candidature for the next Catalan Parliament elections and run for President of the Catalan Government. García Albiol, who was Mayor of Badalona between 2011 and 2015, will replace the leader of the PP's Catalan branch, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, who is currently involved in a dirty political espionage case. A few weeks ago it was said that the PP would stick with Sánchez-Camacho to run in the next Catalan Elections, scheduled for 27 September and likely to be transformed into a 'de facto' plebiscite on independence from Spain. However, after the rest of the main parties chose new faces to top their candidatures, the PP is doing the same and has picked García Albiol, who lost Badalona's mayoral office in May, despite being the most voted candidate, as he was unable to achieve an absolute majority.

Cosmopolitan Catalonia: a long history of attracting newcomers from worldwide

March 17, 2015 08:48 PM | Nell English

Catalonia has a long history with immigration, welcoming foreigners from all over the world has left it with a cosmopolitan and multicultural nature. In more recent years, immigration has been well-documented by the Catalan Government and official statistics, which show various patterns. The first wave of people arriving in Catalonia, especially in the industrial capital of Barcelona, were domestic immigrants from within Spain, while later many came from South America and Northern Africa. The recent economic crisis caused a lull in these figures, but the number of foreign nationals from Asia and Europe (especially Italy and the UK) has increased over more recent years. Conscious of the need for sustainable co-living, Catalonia taken pains to accommodate its diverse population and the ACN spoke to several people about their experience moving to Barcelona.

Spanish Government to expand Constitutional Court appeal and Catalan Parliament to challenge Court President

October 3, 2014 09:13 PM | ACN

The judicial battle for the 9th of November's vote was intensified in the last few hours by Catalan authorities and the Spanish Government. On Thursday evening, the Catalan Parliament's Bureau agreed to challenge 2 of the 12 Constitutional Court members for their closeness to the People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government. They are the Court's President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who was a PP member until 2011, and Pedro José González-Trevijano, who is directly dealing with the Spanish Government's appeal. Moreover, the Spanish Government has announced it will include in its appeals, the election of the members of the Control Commission for consultation votes, which was voted for on Wednesday by the Catalan Parliament and ratified by the Catalan President on Thursday, despite the Court's temporary suspension of the law on which it is based.

The Constitutional Court upholds ruling that Balearic Islands’ civil servants are no longer required to know Catalan

October 2, 2013 10:38 PM | ACN

On the same day, the Court re-affirmed its decision to keep its current Chairman in position despite his anti-Catalan public stance and having been a member of the governing People’s Party (PP) until 2011. On top of this, Catalan and Basque Members of the European Parliament from five different parties formally asked the European Commission to intervene against the politicisation of the Spanish Constitutional Court, stressing that EU democracies should have an independent judiciary. The Constitutional Court is the highest interpreter of Spain’s legislation, has to guarantee the respect of fundamental rights and acts as a referee between the different government levels and political actors. In this capacity, it ruled against the appeal presented by the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) against the law that abolished the requirement to know Catalan for working as a public servant in Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, despite it being the local language.

One of the main members of the People’s Party (PP) in Catalonia to go on trial for xenophobia

April 13, 2013 01:02 AM | CNA

Xavier García Albiol, the Mayor of Badalona – Catalonia’s third largest city and attached to Barcelona – will go on trial accused of the felonies of provocation of hate, discrimination and violence as well as of collective provocative slander. In 2010, before the last municipal elections, García Albiol distributed leaflets that allegedly related Romanian immigrants to crime. During the electoral campaign, he mostly focused his speech on fighting crime and stopping “illegal immigration”. The campaign created a huge controversy in Catalonia and García Albiol was the most voted-for candidate, although with far from an absolute majority. He became the Mayor of Badalona and for the first time ever the People’s Party obtained the mayorship of one of Catalonia’s top 20 most populated cities.

Immigrants bring more than they get out of the Welfare State, concludes a study

May 7, 2011 02:52 AM | CNA

The study is funded by Catalan savings bank ‘la Caixa’ with data at Spanish-level. It reveals, contrary to xenophobic statements that immigrants bring more revenue to the state than the costs they generate. In addition, their presence also brings more services. “We came to the conclusion than the impact of immigration in the Welfare State is clearly positive”, states the coordinator of the study.