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Catalonia, state of the European Union?, by Carles Boix

Catalonia, state of the European Union?, by Carles Boix | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

As part of its electoral campaign based on fear and threats, the Spanish government insists that Catalonia would be automatically excluded from the European Union as soon as it became a sovereign state. The Rajoy government grounds its position on two articles of the EU Treaty. In the first place, article 4.2, which states that "the Union shall respect the essential functions of [the member states], including ensuring the territorial integrity of the State." In the second place, article 20, which states that "any person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union."

Article 20 of the Treaty is certainly irrelevant to the issue at hand. It develops an important principle when it states that European citizenship derives from and overlaps with the original state citizenship and that, therefore, the EU remains committed to protect the human rights of all its citizens (even against Member States if necessary)...

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Granada 1-3 Barça: Barcelona cut Real Madrid’s advantage as Luis Suárez sinks Granada - The Guardian

Granada 1-3 Barça: Barcelona cut Real Madrid’s advantage as Luis Suárez sinks Granada - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez played a part in all three Barcelona goals in a scrappy 3-1 victory at Granada that left them a point behind Real Madrid, who have a game in hand

 

Barcelona closed within a point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga after an in-form Luis Suárez played a part in all three of their goals in a scrappy 3-1 victory at Granada.

 

Barça took the lead at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes when Ivan Rakitic smashed the ball into the net from close range after the Granada defender Cala failed to clear a Suárez centre in the 25th minute.

 

Lionel Messi twice went close before Suárez ran on to a chipped Rakitic pass and slipped the ball under the home goalkeeper, Oier, to make it 2-0 three minutes into the second half...

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Barcelona bar toasts experience by hiring waiters aged over 50 - The Guardian

Barcelona bar toasts experience by hiring waiters aged over 50 - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Entrepanes Díaz seeks to hire waiters with experience who see service as a profession, bucking local trends for low pay and young staff

 

“After four and half years without work it was unbelievable. Totally unexpected, when you’re over 50, to get a glimpse of a little bit of light. No one wants people who are 53 years old,” say Rafael, immaculate in waistcoat and bow tie, behind the bar of Entrepanes Díaz in Barcelona.

 

Rafael’s glimpse of light came when a friend told him that a new bar was opening and that the owner was looking for staff who were over 50...

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Princess Cristina hopes to sell luxury Barcelona house to pay court bonds - The Guardian

Princess Cristina hopes to sell luxury Barcelona house to pay court bonds - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Princess Cristina and husband Iñaki Urdangarin are entangled in one of Spain’s longest-running corruption scandals

 

With its panoramic views of Barcelona, sprawling gardens and salt-water pool, the 1,000 sq metre mansion epitomised the status of its royal owners when it was purchased in 2004.

 

But as Princess Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, became increasingly entangled in one of Spain’s longest-running corruption scandals, the home and the lavish parties it hosted came to symbolise instead the out-of-touch extravagance of Spain’s royals in a country struggling in the grip of an economic crisis.

 

Now, the seven-bedroom home belonging to the king’s sister and her family is set to change hands. The couple has asked a judge for permission to sell the house, half of which was seized by authorities in 2013, in order to secure part of Urdangarin’s €13.6m court bond...

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Luis Suárez: ‘booing by Manchester City fans motivated me to score’ - The Guardian

Luis Suárez: ‘booing by Manchester City fans motivated me to score’ - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez says the booing he received at Manchester City only gave him more motivation to score
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Barcelona’s Neymar argues with Manchester City supporter at final whistle - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Neymar argues with Manchester City supporter at final whistle - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Neymar became embroiled in an argument with a Manchester City supporter at the end of Barcelona’s victory at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday
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Barcelona’s attacking trio outgun and outmuscle Manchester City - The Guardian

Barcelona’s attacking trio outgun and outmuscle Manchester City - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Lionel Messi, Neymar and two-goal Luis Suárez combined to devastating effect to create a rare kind of music in Manchester

 

There was a moment in the first half here, midway through a period of dreamy high-speed Barcelona possession, when Manchester City might have considered briefly stepping across the hoardings and taking a seat in the front row of the crowd. Picking up the ball inside his own half, Lionel Messi first shouldered Gaël Clichy out of the way, then put his head down and simply sprinted off, boots pounding the turf like a boxer hitting the speed-ball, drawing an involuntary gurgle of pleasure from the home crowd as one of City’s renowned flyers was left looking like a man running up the down escalator...

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Manchester City v Barcelona: Champions league last 16 – as it happened - The Guardian

Manchester City v Barcelona: Champions league last 16 – as it happened - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Sergio Aguero gave 10-man Manchester City hope and Lionel Messi missed a penalty, but Luis Suarez’s double leaves Barcelona in a commanding position
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Spanish police arrest Islamic State 'recruiters' in Melilla and Catalonia - The Guardian

Spanish police arrest Islamic State 'recruiters' in Melilla and Catalonia - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Interior ministry announces detention of two suspects in north African enclave, and two in Barcelona and Girona, who targeted women using social media

 

Spanish police arrested four people linked to a sophisticated social media campaign that recruited women to join terrorist groups such as Islamic state (Isis) on Tuesday, Spain’s interior ministery said.

The pre-dawn raids targeted two people in the northern African enclave of Melilla as well as two others in the provinces of Barcelona and Girona.

 

Authorities said that the two in Melilla, who managed several internet platforms that spread propaganda for terrorist groups such as Isis, “were dedicated to the recruitment of women, who after a process of indoctrination, would end up integrated into the terrorist group”...

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Luis Enrique: Barcelona and Manchester City both face tough test in Champions League clash – video - The Guardian

Luis Enrique: Barcelona and Manchester City both face tough test in Champions League clash – video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Enrique, the Barcelona manager, says Tuesday's Champions League match against Manchester City at the Etihad will test the strengths and progress of both teams
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Fitter, fresher Manchester City ready to show Barcelona hold no fear - The Guardian

Fitter, fresher Manchester City ready to show Barcelona hold no fear - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Manuel Pellegrini insisted his side can exorcise the ghost of last season’s defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League
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Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets knows Manchester City pose serious threat - The Guardian

Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets knows Manchester City pose serious threat - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Sergio Busquets has one eye on the Premier League as he prepares to help Barcelona overcome Manchester City in the Champions League

 

The last time Barcelona met Manchester City at the Etihad, Barcelona parked the bus. Then Yaya Touré clambered on board. According to Víctor Valdés, he spent “two hours” taking photos and greeting old friends. Twelve months on, Barcelona are back and although Touré’s first-leg suspension means they won’t see him on the pitch, they will be waiting for him by the bus – and none more so than the man who helped push him out of Camp Nou in the first place.

 

Sergio Busquets, 26, does not see it exactly like that, of course. He insists that Touré’s departure was no “victory” and the warmth is genuine. But he does concede that it was important, proof of the faith Pep Guardiola had in him. Touré had won two leagues, the Spanish Cup and the European Cup, and is not a footballer you let go, even if he pushes to leave; not if you don’t have an exceptional replacement...

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Barça 0-1 Málaga: Barcelona crash at home after Málaga’s Juanmi punishes Dani Alves - The Guardian

Barça 0-1 Málaga: Barcelona crash at home after Málaga’s Juanmi punishes Dani Alves - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Málaga won 1-0 at Barcelona in La Liga after Juanmi seized on a Dani Alves back pass

 

Lionel Messi was largely anonymous as Barcelona suffered a costly 1-0 home defeat to Málaga in La Liga. A victory would have put Luis Enrique’s side two points clear at the top of the table, with Real Madrid playing at Elche on Sunday. But Málaga held on to their surprise seventh-minute lead when Dani Alves tried to nonchalantly side-foot volley a back‑pass but Juanmi nipped in and rounded Claudio Bravo before slotting into an empty net.

 

Messi was at his scintillating best during Barca’s 11-match winning streak but the prolific striker, who had scored 26 league goals before this weekend, resembled a pale imitation of his usual self and was largely off the pace, giving the ball away frequently...

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Luis Enrique denies Lionel Messi’s claims about Barcelona’s turnaround - The Guardian

Luis Enrique denies Lionel Messi’s claims about Barcelona’s turnaround - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has angrily denied claims by Lionel Messi that their impressive run is down to a change in attitude
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Mobile communications industry gathers in Barcelona for MWC 2015 - The Guardian

Mobile communications industry gathers in Barcelona for MWC 2015 - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Mobile World Congress will as usual not feature Apple – and nor will users be represented – but it remains the industry’s biggest show in town

 

The world’s largest mobile technology event kicks off on Sunday with more than 86,000 salespeople, software engineers, chip designers, device makers and television crews arriving in Barcelona for the five-day event.

 

With Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg headlining, alongside Google rising star Sundar Pichai and the omnipresent Will.i.am, who has moved from recording music into designing electronic wristbands, the Mobile World Congress will fill the halls of two separate exhibition centres and take over countless unofficial venues around the Catalan capital...

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The new Qatar Airways advert: FC Barça plunge to a new low - The Guardian

The new Qatar Airways advert: FC Barça plunge to a new low - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Once FC Barcelona were holdouts against footballing sponsorship. Now they’re jetting off on stereotype-filled adventures with the big-money airline

 

Time was when you grudgingly admired ads featuring elite footballers in the pay of heavy-hitting sponsors. Remember the one featuring the Brazilian World Cup team ball-juggling through Rio airport? That was 1998. This century has seen the format over-egged to absurdity: Wayne Rooney scattering a wall of techno-Visigoths with a fiery, projectile free kick and so forth. For Qatar Airways’ latest, featuring Barcelona players exclusively, the inanity-ometer has been ratcheted up to 11. To underscore the airline’s boast that it can fly you to various parts of the world, the ad features Barca players jetting off for adventures with notable international stereotypes. So, in Japan, Lionel Messi naturally becomes involved in a martial arts scenario, while in Paris, Gerard Piqué is surrounded by Marcel Marceau-type mime artists playing invisible football. More puzzlingly, in Dallas, Luis Suárez, poncho’d and saddled up, confronts a group of locals whom he, or rather his horse, confounds with a hoofed volley...

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Spain's top court: Catalan secession vote unconstitutional - AP

Spain's top court: Catalan secession vote unconstitutional - AP | AC Affairs | Scoop.it

MADRID (AP) — Spain's Constitutional Court has unanimously declared a vote on secession by the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia last November as unconstitutional.

 

The court ruled Tuesday that a law passed by the Catalan regional government allowing it to call such votes is also unconstitutional.

 

The court had ordered the suspension of the Nov. 9 vote while it studied a complaint from the central government.

 

But Catalonia pressed ahead, labeling the referendum an informal process so as to try to skirt the suspension order.

Prosecutors have since filed suits against Catalan regional President Artur Mas for staging the vote.

 

Catalan officials said that out of 6.3 million potential voters, 2.3 million cast ballots, with most favoring secession.

Mas now hopes to get backing for his independence push in regional elections in September.

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Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City can't keep making same mistakes against Barcelona – video - The Guardian

Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City can't keep making same mistakes against Barcelona – video - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini and Barcelona's Luis Enrique give their reactions after Barcelona beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad stadium on Tuesday
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Manuel Pellegrini: penalty save gives Manchester City a chance at Barcelona - The Guardian

Manuel Pellegrini: penalty save gives Manchester City a chance at Barcelona - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The City manager lamented Gaël Clichy’s second-half sending off but Joe Hart said his save from Lionel Messi’s late penalty kept his side in the tie
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ManCity 1-2 Barça: Luis Suárez strikes twice as Barcelona teach Manchester City a lesson - The Guardian

ManCity 1-2 Barça: Luis Suárez strikes twice as Barcelona teach Manchester City a lesson - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Luis Suárez was the star of the show as his two first-half goals gave Barcelona an impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester City

 

Perhaps the most dispiriting part for Manchester City came from that unmistakable feeling that, if anything, the gulf has widened. They have suffered plenty of times in this competition but has there ever been a time when the imbalance of talent has felt so extreme and they have been so grateful to be spared an even more harrowing ordeal?

 

Barcelona did not just out play them, they emphatically put them in their place during that opening 45 minutes when Luis Suárez scored twice, Dani Alves struck the crossbar, Lionel Messi nutmegged David Silva and Manuel Pellegrini’s team stumbled to the interval like a side in need of smelling salts rather than half-time oranges...

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Champions league: Manchester City v Barcelona: in pictures - The Guardian

Champions league: Manchester City v Barcelona: in pictures - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
The best images from photographer Tom Jenkins at The Etihad Stadium as Manchester City take on Barcelona in the first leg for a place in the quarter finals.
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Champions League last-16: Manchester City v Barcelona and Arsenal v Monaco - The Guardian

Champions League last-16: Manchester City v Barcelona and Arsenal v Monaco - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Statistic previews of the last-16 ties being played in England, plus best XIs this week from the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga
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Man City v Barcelona: Catalan visitors will come in peace - Manchester Evening

Man City v Barcelona: Catalan visitors will come in peace - Manchester Evening | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona's travelling fans will not display the kind of behavior that saw some Chelsea fans bring shame on themselves last week, says Andy Mitten.
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Barcelona’s deadly trident can help club bounce back against Manchester City - The Guardian

Barcelona’s deadly trident can help club bounce back against Manchester City - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
A home defeat to Málaga derailed an 11-match winning streak but Barça’s attacking trident has usually been hitting its stride to devastating effect

 

At the end of Barcelona’s match with Málaga on Saturday afternoon, the club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, insisted: “Now we have to think about Manchester City.” It was tempting to conclude that they already were. The intensity and attitude that had defined them over the last six weeks, and of which Leo Messi had been speaking just two days before, had gone. Instead, there was a glimpse of the failings Barcelona thought they had left behind and a first defeat in 12 games...

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Are Manchester City smart enough to penetrate Europe’s meanest defence? - The Guardian

Are Manchester City smart enough to penetrate Europe’s meanest defence? - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Barcelona pose a substantial challenge, as always, in the Champions League last 16 despite the surprise defeat to Málaga

 

What happened last year?

Barcelona beat Manchester City 4-1 on aggregate, a fair reflection of the gulf between the two sides even if the games themselves were close contests. City were not proactive enough in the first leg at home, content for too long with just holding their opponents and paying the price when Martín Demichelis was sent off for a professional foul that allowed Lionel Messi to break the deadlock from the penalty spot, before Dani Alves added a second in the final minute.

 

Late goals were also a feature of the second leg, in which City had another defender dismissed, this time Pablo Zabaleta for protesting too vehemently that a Gerard Pique challenge should have brought a penalty. Messi had put Barcelona in front midway through the second half, but, though City pulled a goal back through Vincent Kompany a minute from time, another late goal from Alves drew a line under City’s first foray into the Champions League knockout stage...

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The gifs that keep on giving: Lionel Messi, Zach LaVine and Eddie Gray - The Guardian

The gifs that keep on giving: Lionel Messi, Zach LaVine and Eddie Gray - The Guardian | AC Affairs | Scoop.it
Featuring a Leeds legend dancing in the mud, an angry referee seeking retribution, a spectacular own goal and a dog playing head tennis with his master
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